In 1976, Morgan and colleagues first described the T-cell growth factor, interleukin-2, which is a glycoprotein with several in-vitro and in-vivo immunoregulatory effects. In addition to enhancing natural killer cell function, the incubation of peripheral blood lymphocytes with interleukin-2 results in the generation of lymphokine-activated killer cells. Lymphokine-activated killer cells can lyse fresh, autologous, or syngeneic tumor cells but show no lytic activity toward normal cells. The selective destruction of tumor cells thus theoretically provides the ideal cancer therapy: that is, one that destroys tumor cells while leaving normal host cells unharmed. Unfortunately, significant toxicity has limited the amount of interleukin-2 that can be safely administered to humans. Clearly, one of the most significant toxicities associated with interleukin-2 therapy is its effect on the cardiovascular system. Because of this predictable hemodynamic toxicity of interleukin-2 and because of its clinical importance, we studied the hemodynamic alterations occurring during interleukin-2 therapy in 13 patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine