Local delivery of interleukin-2 and adriamycin is synergistic in the treatment of experimental malignant glioma

Wesley Hsu, Maciej S. Lesniak, Betty Tyler, Henry Brem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Introduction: Local delivery of adriamycin (ADR) via biodegradable polymers has been shown to improve survival in rats challenged intracranially with 9L gliosarcoma. Likewise, local delivery of interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been shown to extend survival in experimental brain tumor models. In the current study, we hypothesized that local delivery of ADR and IL-2 might act synergistically against experimental intracranial glioma. Methods: Polyanhydride polymers (PCPP-SA) containing 5% ADR by weight were prepared using the mix-melt method. IL-2 polymer microspheres (IL-2 MS) were produced via the complex coacervation of gelatin and chondroitin sulfate in the presence of IL-2. Sixty male Fisher 344 rats received an intracranial challenge with a lethal dose of 9L gliosarcoma cells. In addition, a group of rats were injected with either IL-2 MS or empty microspheres. Five days later they received ADR or blank polymer. There were a total of four treatment groups: (1) empty microspheres, blank polymer; (2) empty microspheres, ADR polymer; (3) IL-2 MS, blank polymer; and (4) IL-2 MS, ADR polymer. Results: Compared to control animals treated with empty microspheres and blank polymer, animals receiving empty microspheres and ADR polymer (P < 0.0004), IL-2 MS and blank polymer (P < 0.0005), and IL-2 MS combined with ADR polymer (P < 0.0000002) all showed statistically significant improvement in survival. In addition, animals receiving the IL-2/ADR combination had significantly extended survival compared to either ADR or IL-2 alone (P < 0.000003 and P < 0.0004, respectively). Conclusions: Both ADR and IL-2, when delivered locally, are effective monotherapeutic agents against experimental intracranial gliosarcoma. The combination ADR and IL-2 therapy is more effective than either agent alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Adriamycin
  • Biodegradable polymer
  • Brain tumor
  • Cytokine
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interstitial chemotherapy
  • Microspheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Local delivery of interleukin-2 and adriamycin is synergistic in the treatment of experimental malignant glioma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this