ABSTRACT: Immunomodulation with cytokines was used to improve the result of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC)/autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHST). We examined the use of IL-2 and growth factors for mobilization, ex vivo activation of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) and maintenance therapy after HDC/AHST in metastatic breast cancer. Eligible patients with metastatic breast cancer for HDC/AHST were assigned to 1 of 3 protocols for PBSC mobilization: G-CSF (group 1); IL-2 + G-CSF (group 2); or IL-2 + G-CSF + GM-CSF (group 3). HDC with cyclophosphamide, carmustine and thiotepa was given from day -7 to -5. PBSCs were treated ex vivo with IL-2 for 24 h and reinfused on day 0. Maintenance therapy included low-dose IL-2, followed by 2 courses of intermediate-dose IL-2. GM-CSF was given from day 1 until neutrophil recovery. Thirty-four patients (10 in group 1, 14 in group 2, and 10 in group 3) were included. Comparable numbers of CD34(+) cells were collected from all 3 groups; incremental increases of CD3(+) cells were collected from groups 1 to 2 and to 3 (p = 0.03). Major adverse effects from IL-2 were fever, hypotension and fatigue; no treatment-related mortality was seen. At a median follow-up of 790.5 days (range 150-2,722 days), median progression-free survival was 434 days and median overall survival was 1,432 days. Estimated 3-year progression-free and overall survival rates were 31 and 57%. Our study suggested that the use of IL-2 and growth factors immunomodulation with HDC/AHST was feasible with comparable survival rates.
International journal of hematology 12/2009; 90(5):627-34. · 1.17 Impact Factor