Natural cytotoxicity (natural killer, NK, and lymphokine-activated killer, LAK, activity) was documented in 12 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, both before and after a 5-day course of continuous therapy with intravenous recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2). Treatment induced a substantial increase in circulating CD56+ lymphocytes (pretreatment: 12.1±6.9%, mean ± SD; posttreatment: 39.2±6.9%. Maximal NK cell activity was induced by treatment with rIL-2 but only suboptimal augmentation of LAK cell cytotoxicity was obtained. This study indicates that although continuous infusion of rIL-2 does have a significant effect on natural cytotoxicity, this is suboptimal and further studies are necessary to define the most efficacious immunity-enhancing regimens of therapy, thereby hopefully improving clinical outcome of rIL-2 treatment.
- Colorectal cancer
- Natural cytotoxicity