Primary hypothyroidism associated with interleukin-2 and interferon alpha-2 therapy of melanoma and renal carcinoma

Silvia Scalzo, Antonio Gengaro, Giovanni Boccoli, Rosalba Masciulli, Gianfranco Giannella, G. Salvo, Paolo Marolla, P. Carlini, Giorgio Massimini, E. E. Holdener, Ugo Testa, Federico Calabresi, Cesare Peschle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Four patients out of twenty with renal cancer and melanoma undergoing cancer immunotherapy with interleukin 2 (IL-2) and interferon alpha-2 (IFN-α2) had laboratory evidence of hypothyroidism starting at cycle three to six, with a decline in serum thyroxine below normal and, in three cases, a rise in serum thyrotropin and thyroglobulin. One hypothyroid patient had elevated serum antimicrosomal antibody titres before the start of treatment and two others responded similarly during therapy. Three of the sixteen euthyroid patients also developed elevated titres of this antibody. Partial or complete remission was observed in seven of the patient-three of the four with hypothyroidism showed tumour regression. Thus IL-2 and IFN-α2 can cause hypothyroidism, presumably via induction or exacerbation of autoimmune thyroid reactions. The occurrence of hypothyroidism may be mediated by high-dose IL-2 (rather than by LAK cell therapy as previously suggested) and potentiated by IFN-α2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1152-1156
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology
Volume26
Issue number11-12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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