2015 Antineoplastics

1. Cytokines


  • not directly cytotoxic - induces and expands a T-cell response cytolytic for tumour cells

  • used either alone or with IL-2-stimulated autologous lymphocytes ("lymphokine-activated-killer" or LAK cells; cytokine induced killer or CIK cells)
    • cells are produced by obtaining lymphocytes from the patient, culturing them with x-irradiated tumour cells in the prescence of IL-2 and added tumour antigens, and then reinjecting them into the patient with IL-2 - the LAK cells then kill tumour cells but not normal cells

  • short half-life (t1/2 = 13 minutes) à either continously infused or given as multiple intermittent daily doses

  • side effects of high doses:
    • activation and expansion of lytic lymphocytes causes inflammation, vascular leak and secondary release of other cytokines (such as TNF, interferon α) = cytokine storm
    • can produce mild/moderate symptoms such as fever/chills, diarrhea and weight gain or hand-foot syndrome (palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia)
    • serious toxicities such as thrombocytopenia, shock, respiratory distress, coma and fatal hypotension
Email: Dr. Janet Fitzakerley | ©2015 University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth | Last modified: 10-may-15 3:50 PM