Predicting outcome for high-dose IL-2 therapy in cancer patients

December 2, 2013

One of the most potent forms of immunotherapy for patients with metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma is high-dose (HD) bolus IL-2 therapy. Approximately 15% of patients respond to HD IL-2 therapy, with almost 5% going into complete remission; however, use of HD IL-2 therapy is limited due to the toxic effects associated with treatment. Because HD IL-2-associated toxicity is severe, it would be beneficial for clinicians to determine if a patient would respond favorably to this treatment prior to side effect onset.

Previous studies indicate that regulatory T cell (Treg) populations increase in patients undergoing HD IL-2 therapy, and in this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lazlo Radvanyi and colleagues at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center performed an in depth analysis of Treg populations in melanoma patients undergoing HD IL-2 therapy. The authors identified a distinct population of Treg cells that expressed the inducible T cell costimulator (ICOS) that was highly proliferative following the first cycle of HD IL-2.

Furthermore, melanoma patients with greater levels of ICOS+ Tregs in response to HD IL-2 had better clinical outcomes, suggesting that this Treg population may be useful to predict which patients would benefit from HD IL-2.

Explore further: Researchers study 'ACT TIL' approach to treating metastatic melanoma

More information: IL-2 therapy promotes suppressive ICOS+ Treg expansion in melanoma patients, J Clin Invest. DOI: 10.1172/JCI46266

Related Stories

Immune cell migration is impeded in Huntington's disease

November 19, 2012

Huntington disease (HD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disease caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene (htt). Though most of the symptoms of HD are neurological, the mutant HTT protein is expressed in non-neural cells ...

Recommended for you

Taking control of key protein stifles cancer spread in mice

May 20, 2016

For cancer to spread, the cells that take off into the bloodstream must find a tissue that will permit them to thrive. They don't just go looking, though. Instead, they actively prepare the tissue, in one case by co-opting ...

Cancer can be combated with reprogrammed macrophage cells

May 20, 2016

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have generated antibodies that reprogramme a type of macrophage cell in the tumour, making the immune system better able to recognise and kill tumour cells. The study, which is published ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.