Purpose: To describe the incidence and management of renal dysfunction associated with the use of high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) (as is currently approved) in the treatment of cancer patients. Patients and Methods: One hundred ninety-nine consecutive patients with metastatic renal carcinoma or melanoma were treated with intravenous bolus infusions of IL-2 alone (720,000 IU/kg) every 8 hours. Results: Patients received 310 courses (589 cycles) of therapy and most experienced oliguria, hypotension, and weight gain; 13% of cycles were discontinued due to increased serum creatinine levels. Creatinine values (mean pretherapy, 1.2 mg/dL) increased during therapy and peaked (mean, 2.7 mg/dL) approximately 1 day after discontinuation of the second cycle of IL-2. Off therapy, toxicities reversed promptly and creatinine values returned to baseline. Higher peak creatinine values occurred in patients with renal carcinoma (v melanoma), older patients, males (v females), and those who had undergone prior nephrectomy. These same patient subsets received fewer doses of IL-2, but clinical responses were not associated with creatinine values or number of IL-2 doses administered. Urinalyses showed the appearance of protein, bilirubin, RBCs, WBCs, and granular casts during therapy, which cleared completely on follow-up evaluation. Conclusion: High-dose IL-2 can be safely administered to cancer patients. The associated renal dysfunction is transient and without evidence of intrinsic long-term renal damage. Practical guidelines for patient management have been identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research