We investigated the effects of thymostimulin (TST) vs placebo administration in a randomised trial performed in patients with locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer treated with a combined modality programme that included hyperfractionated split-course thoracic radiation therapy plus chemotherapy. Grade 3 to 4 neutropenia, severe anaemia, treatment delays due to myelosuppression, and overall infectious event rate were all less frequent in TST-treated patients, but none of these differences reached statistical significance. However, the fungine infection rate was significantly lower in the TST group, and natural killer (NK) cell activity was significantly increased in TST-treated patients. TST is believed to work mainly as a complex immunomodulator, which acts through stimulation of T cell maturation, T cell-mediated cytotoxicity, lymphokine production by T cells, regulation of lymphoid cell functions, modulation of NK cell activity and, possibly, restoration of depressed monocyte and dendritic cell function. Our study confirms that TST is capable of improving the tolerance to antitumour treatment, and thus improving the outcome of therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)