The standard of care for mRCC is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy; although this treatment is effective and well-tolerated, the responses seen in patients are often not long-lasting. High-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2), a protein that can activate the immune system, can produce durable complete responses, but can elicit significant toxicities and therefore its use is limited.
At the ESMO Symposium on Immuno-Oncology in Geneva, Switzerland, researchers from the Christie Hospital in Manchester, United Kingdom presented a retrospective analysis of 180 patients with mRCC who received high dose IL-2 at their institution over the last 10 years. One hundred forty-five of these patients were treatment-naïve, and 35 had been previously treated.
Overall, the outcomes for these patients were similar for both groups; of those patients who achieved a complete response, 75% are alive and disease-free (median overall survival not yet reached), and there was no difference in response or survival rate between the two groups.
The results of this study show that high-dose IL-2 can be safe and effective in mRCC patients who have been classified as having a “favorable” histology, and the researchers indicated that it should be considered as first- or second-line therapy in these patients.
High-dose interleukin-2 can be effective in selected metastatic renal cell cancer patients pre-treated with VEGF-targeted agents, reveals research presented at the ESMO Symposium on Immuno-Oncology in Geneva, Switzerland. Lead author Dr Manon Evans, research fellow at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, UK, said: “Despite the wide and increasing range of therapies available, the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) remains challenging. Agents targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways are currently the standard of care. Whilst these therapies are well tolerated and demonstrate impressive response rates, the responses seen are very rarely complete and durable.”