A review of recent findings involving interleukin-2-based cancer therapy

John W. Eklund, Timothy M. Kuzel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Highlighted in this review are the important preclinical and clinical updates of interleukin (IL)-2-based cancer immunotherapy that have been published during the last year. Recent findings: The review starts with a summary of the preclinical breakthroughs involving IL-2. The authors briefly examine two recent studies that take very different approaches to overcome the toxicities associated with IL-2 therapy. The first involves IL-2 gene transduction into tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, and the latter discusses the use of a superoxide dismutase mimetic to ameliorate the hypotensive effects of IL-2. This is followed by a discussion of the key roles that T regulatory cells and transforming growth factor-β have in immunosuppression, and how they interplay with IL-2. Next they review the clinical updates of IL-2 in melanoma, including IL-2 as adjuvant therapy, IL-2-based biochemotherapy, and intralesional IL-2 for soft-tissue metastases. Finally, the authors point out the recent clinical developments of IL-2 in renal cell carcinoma, including high-dose IL-2 as adjuvant therapy, and then focus on its role in the management of metastatic disease. Summary: IL-2 remains a valuable treatment option for patients with metastatic melanoma or renal cell carcinoma. Some of the recent updates in IL-2 therapy address important questions regarding the use of this drug, and others generate equally important hypotheses that could lead to better clinical outcomes in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-546
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • IL-2
  • Interleukin-2
  • Melanoma
  • Renal cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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