Background: Therapies of advanced melanoma patients with interleukin-2 (IL-2) and cytotoxic lymphocytes have produced interesting results, but a larger diffusion of these treatments is limited by the severe side effects due to IL-2 systemic infusion. A strictly regional administration of IL-2 and cells by an isolation perfusion (IP) in extracorporeal circulation (ECC) for the treatment of regional melanoma metastases could improve tolerability and efficacy of this specific modality of immunotherapy. Methods: Ten patients were submitted to adoptive immunotherapy with IL-2 and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells by IP in ECC. The schedule of treatment included the first course of a 5-day systemic administration of IL-2 (Proleukin, EuroCetus 9-12 × 106 IU/M2/day continuous infusion); autologous LAK cells were obtained via leukapheresis and after in vitro activation were given (range 8-28 × 109) along with IL-2 (120-2,400 IU/ml of perfusion priming) to the affected limb by IP; IL-2 (9-12×106 IU/m2/day) was also administered by systemic continuous infusion for 5 days starting on the day after IP. Results: All patients concluded the treatment without any major local or systemic toxicities. Clinical responses included one complete and six partial remissions; three patients had stable disease. All patients are alive. Follow-up after IP ranged from 12 to 35 months (median: 22). The analysis of circulating lymphocytes revealed the rapid disappearance of LAK cells, suggesting their extravasation and/or endothelial adhesion in perfused tissues. Conclusions: IP with IL-2 and LAK cells is a new approach for the treatment of in-transit metastases due to cutaneous melanoma. The treatment appears to be feasible and reliable. Further biological and immunological studies should permit amelioration of the present modality of treatment.
- Isolation perfusion
- Lymphokine-activated killer cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas