Therapy of cancer using the adoptive transfer of activated killer cells and interleukin-2

Suzanne L. Topalian, Steven A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A new approach to cancer treatment has been developed based on the adoptive transfer of activated lymphocytes into cancer patients. Lymphocytes harvested from patients by leukapheresis are converted into lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells by incubation with recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2). These LAK cells are then infused back into the patients in combination with intravenous IL-2. Among 25 patients treated with this form of adoptive immunotherapy there were 11 patients with measurable tumor reductions, including 1 complete responder. The majority of responses occurred in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, melanoma and colorectal carcinoma. The toxicities of IL-2, including fluid retention and pulmonary edema, limit therapy, and laboratory investigation is now aimed toward understanding the mechanism of IL-2 toxicity. The use of LAK cells and IL-2 in cancer therapy is still in a developmental stage and needs to be refined before its role can be definitely established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-76
Number of pages2
JournalActa Haematologica
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987


  • Adoptive immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-2
  • Lymphokine-activated killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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