Maintenance biotherapy with interleukin-2 and interferon for metastatic renal cell cancer

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The term maintenance immunotherapy comprises at least two different therapeutic approaches: the continuation of immunotherapy beyond disease progression and the use of chronic immunotherapy after the achievement of an initial response (or disease stabilization) with more intensive treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy. The former therapeutic approach was proposed in renal cell carcinoma some years ago relying on several immunological considerations. Some years later, we have learned that it is feasible and endowed with a favorable therapeutic index; furthermore, its immunologic effects are well described and reproducible, and it has antitumor activity. However, due to the lack of adequate randomized Phase III studies, the actual impact of this treatment strategy on patient survival has not yet been proved. The rationale of this treatment, its immunological and clinical results, as well as its pitfalls and perspectives, will be presented and discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Immunotherapy
  • Interferon-α
  • Interleukin-2
  • Maintenance treatment
  • Renal cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology

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