A phase II trial of intraperitoneal interleukin-2 in patients with platinum-resistant or platinum-refractory ovarian cancer

  • Anda M. Vlad
  • Raluca A. Budiu
  • Diana E. Lenzner
  • Yun Wang
  • Julia A. Thaller
  • Kelly Colonello
  • Peggy A. Crowley-Nowick
  • Joseph L. Kelley
  • Fredric V. Price
  • Robert P. Edwards
Original Article


Ovarian cancer patients with persistent (platinum-resistant) or progressive (platinum-refractory) disease respond poorly to second line chemotherapy and have low survival expectancy. New and improved therapeutic approaches are needed and immune biologics are one possibility. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a T-cell growth factor believed to be important in anti-tumor immunity. We performed a phase II clinical trial with intraperitoneal (IP) recombinant IL-2 administered in weekly infusions of 6 × 105 IU/m2. Thirty-one subjects were sequentially entered into the study and clinical responses were surgically confirmed in 24 patients. The primary end point of this study was clinical response with immunologic measurements as secondary end points. The IP regimen was generally well tolerated. Of the 24 patients assessed for response, there were 6 (4 complete, 2 partial) responses for an overall response rate of 25.0% [95% confidence interval (CI) of 11–45]. The median survival of the 31 patient cohort was 2.1 years (95% CI of 1.3–4.4), but for the 6 patients with responses the median survival has not been reached (range 24–120+ months). Eosinophil and lymphocyte numbers were continuously monitored during treatment. Peripheral blood eosinophils were markedly increased at the completion of treatment (p < 0.0001) and associated with increased circulating eotaxin (p = 0.03). We also found significant associations between changes in CD3 counts and survival (p = 0.05) and between IFNγ-secreting CD8 T cells at early time points and survival (p = 0.04). This study provides important evidence for IP IL-2 in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and identifies several immune correlates of survival.


Ovarian cancer Interleukin 2 Intraperitoneal therapy 



This work was supported by NIH R21 CA74105-02S1, American Cancer Society, Chiron Therapeutics, PA Department of Health and the Magee-Womens Health Foundation.

Supplementary material

262_2009_750_MOESM1_ESM.doc (249 kb)
Supplementary figures (DOC 249 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anda M. Vlad
    • 1
    • 2
  • Raluca A. Budiu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Diana E. Lenzner
    • 3
  • Yun Wang
    • 3
  • Julia A. Thaller
    • 2
  • Kelly Colonello
    • 4
  • Peggy A. Crowley-Nowick
    • 4
  • Joseph L. Kelley
    • 4
  • Fredric V. Price
    • 4
  • Robert P. Edwards
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive SciencesUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Magee Womens Research InstitutePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.University of Pittsburgh Cancer InstitutePittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Division of Gynecologic OncologyMagee Womens HospitalPittsburghUSA

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