Interleukin-2 in neuroblastoma: Clinical perspectives based on biological studies

Felix Rueda, Francesc Martí, Núria Pardo, Isabel Badell, Matilde Peiró, Esther Bertran, Esther Villén, Juan García, Josep Cubells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Stage IV neuroblastoma (NB) is a disease with a poor prognosis. Chemotherapeutical intensification and hematological rescue with autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) achieve some complete remissions (CR), but most patients relapse during the first year. Immunotherapy could be an alternative in this situation of high risk of relapse due to residual disease and ABMT-related immunodepression. Ten stage IV NB patients in CR or very good partial remission have been treated with recurrent 5-day cycles of high doses of Interleukin-2 (IL2) after ABMT throughout one year (usually 5-6 cycles). Natural killer (NK) and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cytotoxic activities, as well as phenotype and number of circulating NK cells were determined, before and after each course of IL2 treatment. The effects promoted by IL2 varied during treatment: early cycles of IL2 reduced a great extent of cell expansion, mainly on CD3-/CD16-/CD56(+bright) and CD8(+dim) cell phenotypes; conversely, late courses of IL2 promoted higher NK cytotoxic activity but a lesser increase on circulating NK cells. The induction of LAK activity did not significantly differ from early and late IL2 treatments. Clinical results are still inconclusive due to the small number of patients. The median follow-up of patients treated with IL2 is 24 months and the disease free survival (DFS) probability is 0.80 ± 0.12 vs 0.16 ± 0.15 from a historical control with identical treatment, but in the absence of IL2 treatment (p<0.005). IL2 treatment-related toxicity was mild and no interruption of the treatment was required. Extremely accurate hydric control was carried out to avoid, as much as possible, the consequences of vascular leak syndrome, one of the most important toxic effects of IL2 treatment. The results presented here suggest an evolution of NK activity during IL2 treatment after ABMT, which should be taken into account for the designing of new immunotherapeutical protocols and opens a promising perspective in treatment of stage IV neuroblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • IL2 treatment
  • Natural killer
  • autologous bone marrow transplantation
  • lymphokine-activated killer
  • neuroblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Interleukin-2 in neuroblastoma: Clinical perspectives based on biological studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this