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Anyone tried inhaled IL-2

Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2013

Have anyone tried/heard of inhaled IL-2? It is much better tolerated and I read two articals as below. Has anyone's oncologist recommended this treatment? I think it seems better for elder people who cannot tolerate systemic IL-2..




"Dr. Heinzer and colleagues, retrospectively, reviewed overall survival in 97 patients with high-risk renal cell carcinoma that had metastasized to the lungs who were treated with inhaled IL-2 in nine German centers and compared the results with those of 103 similar patients who had received systemic IL-2 for approval studies.

They defined high-risk patients as those with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 2 or greater performance status scores, or ECOG 1 plus two metastatic sites and a diagnosis-to-treatment time of 24 months or less.

In all, 28% of the patients had ECOG 2, 87% had diagnostic treatment interval of 24 months or less, and 97% had metastases to the lung and other sites. In addition, 31% previously had not undergone nephrectomy, but 11% previously had received chemotherapy, and 17% had prior immunotherapy.

Patients were treated with 6.5 million units (MIU) of inhaled recombinant IL-2 six days a week for a median of 10 months. The patients also received 3.3 MIU of systemic IL-2 on the first day of each six-day cycle.

The treatment was well-tolerated, with coughing being the primary adverse event. There were no reported systemic toxicities with the therapy, Dr. Heinzer said.

The five-year survival rates were 21% for patients treated with the inhaled formulation compared with 0% for controls. Of the 45% of patients taking inhaled IL-2 who achieved a complete or partial response or stable disease, 35% survived up to five years. In contrast, 33% of patients receiving systemic IL-2 had a complete response, partial response, or stable disease, but none of these patients lived for five years."

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2798
Joined: Nov 2011

How fascinating - thanks for this heads up.  It does seem as though Germany is sporting approaches that are novel to us in the UK, USA and Australasia, where we may tend to think we know about all that's going on.  Moreover, in some areas it looks as if Germany is many years ahead.

Does anyone Statesside (or in UK or Oz) know much about this? Along with the trials of the co-administration of side-effect-dampening drugs with IL2, we may be moving into a new era where that treatment becomes much more tolerable and cures a lot more people.

AprilandChuck's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Feb 2013

Pittsburgh is doing a study on Drugs in Combination with HD IL2 that looks promising :D The drugs dampen side affects dramatically.. I am going to ask our Oncologist about the Inhaled version of IL2 just because my curiosity is up thanks!!

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