Review Article

The Toxicity and Benefit of Various Dosing Strategies for Interleukin-2 in Metastatic Melanoma and Renal Cell Carcinoma

Laura A. Pachella, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, AOCNP®, Lydia T. Madsen, PhD, RN, AOCNS®, and Joyce E. Dains, DrPH, JD, RN, FNP-BC, DPNAP, FAANP

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Laura A. Pachella, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, AOCNP®, Department of Nursing, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 1489, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: lpachella@mdanderson.org


J Adv Pract Oncol 2015;6:212–221 | doi: 10.6004/jadpro.2015.6.3.3 | © 2015 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) therapy has been used with success in curing meta­static renal cell carcinoma and melanoma in a small minority of patients. However, the benefits can be accompanied by severe toxicity. This review of the literature discusses varying doses of IL-2 and their associated re­sponse rates and the toxicities associated with treatment. The review also explores the maximally beneficial dose with the most tolerable side effects. Although the higher-dose regimens with a more frequent dosing schedule produce higher-grade toxicity, they were found to deliver the most durable and complete responses. It is recommended to use a higher-dose regimen (720,000 IU/kg every 8 hours for a maximum of 15 doses) and provide sup­portive care for toxicity, so patients can have maximal benefit from therapy.




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