IL2 - the first immunotherapy
The promise of cytokine therapy
The FDA approved high-dose interleukin 2 for the treatment of advanced cancer in the 1990’s, making it the first immunotherapy. Administration of systemic high-dose IL2 improves the tumor immune response via activation of the cancer-killing natural killer cells (NK) and CD8+ T cell. High-dose IL2 results reverses tumor suppression of the immune system and profoundly activates these cells.
Up to 9% of renal cell carcinoma and melanoma patients have a durable, long-lasting curative response after IL2 therapy.
Decades of experience with high-dose IL2 indicate superiority to modern immuno-oncology therapeutics. Unfortunately, the use high-dose IL2 therapy is limited due to off-target effects on the vasculature and T regulatory cells. Stimulation of these cells results in significant adverse effects in patients.