Eight patients with epithelial ovarian carcinoma persisting after chemotherapy, selected for having a residual tumor no larger than 1 cm in diameter, were treated intra-peritoneally (i.p.) with recombinant interferon-γ twice weekly for 3 months. Toxicity consisted of fever and malaise in all patients and a transient rise in hepatic enzyme levels in 3 patients. The cytotoxic function of peripheral blood and peritoneal tumor-associated lymphocytes (TAL) and macrophages (TAM), was studied using cell lines as targets. I.p. IFN-γ augmented the cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes and mononuclear phagocytes: stimulation was more marked and more frequently observed with TAL and occasionally TAM than with blood effectors, suggesting preferential modulation at the site of tumor growth and IFN administration. Surgical laparotomy revealed that 1 patient had a complete response, 2 a partial response and 2 had stable disease, while 3 patients had progressive disease. In this small series of patients there was no obvious, strict correlation between immunomodulation by IFN-γ and clinical response. These results indicate that, in contrast to its lack of activity in advanced ovarian carcinoma, IFN-γ has definite immunomodulatory and antitumor activity in the presence of limited tumor burden.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research