A comparison of 2 modes of administration of recombinant interleukin-2: continuous intravenous infusion alone versus subcutaneous administration plus interferon alpha in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma
Palmer, P.A.; Atzpodien, J.; Philip, T.; Negrier, S.; Kirchner, H.; Von der Maase, H.; Geertsen, P.; Evers, P.; Loriaux, E.; Oskam, R.
Cancer BioTherapy 8(2): 123-136
Purpose: To compare 2 treatment modalities with recombinant Interleukin-2 (rIL-2) for patients with advanced Renal Cell carcinoma (RCC) : continuous intravenous infusion (CIV) alone versus subcutaneous (s/c) rIL-2 + Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha). Patients and Methods: Data have been collected on 425 patients with RCC, treated CIV rIL-2 alone, (225 patients), or rIL-2 by the s/c route (200 patients). Patients receiving s/c rIL-2 also received s/c IFN-alpha both drugs being administered on an outpatient basis. Patients receiving CIV rIL-2 were treated as inpatients. Patient eligibility criteria were similar on all studies, and included patients with progressive, advanced disease, but with an ambulatory performance status. Results: The overall response rate for the CIV schedules was not significantly different from the s/c regimens: 15% (95% confidence limits (CL) 10-20%) vs 20% (95%CL 14-26%) with 4% CR in both approaches. Durable responses were seen in both CIV and s/c schedules and there was no evidence of a significant difference in survival in multivariate analysis. There was however an important shift in the toxicity profile. The s/c regimens do not induce a clinically detectable capillary leak syndrome, which is the dose limiting toxicity for CIV regimens. Conclusion: Although the introduction of CIV regimens of rIL-2 was a major step forward compared to high-dose bolus, because most patients could be treated in a normal oncology ward, the s/c schedule of rIL-2 + IFN-alpha offers the possibility of outpatient (home) therapy, with no evidence of a reduction in efficacy.