Maintenance immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer

  • Authors:
    • Francesco Recchia
    • Gigliola Sica
    • Giampiero Candeloro
    • Stefano Necozione
    • Roberta Bisegna
    • Massimo Bratta
    • Silvio Rea
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: November 1, 2008     https://doi.org/10.3892/or_00000126
  • Pages:1173-1179
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Abstract

Maintenance chemotherapy provides only a modest survival advantage in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). We have previously shown that a maintenance immunotherapy (MI) regimen based on low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) and 13-cis retinoic acid (RA) improved the lymphocyte and natural killer cell (NK) counts, and CD4+/CD8+ ratio in patients with a clinical benefit from chemotherapy. With the aim of improving progression-free survival (PFS), 100 consecutive MBC patients with a clinical benefit from chemotherapy were treated with an MI. Patients with MBC were eligible if they had no evidence of progression after 6-8 courses of epirubicin-paclitaxel induction chemotherapy. Treatment consisted of low-dose IL-2 and oral RA given until progression. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary endpoints were toxicity, overall survival (OS), and changes in immunological parameters. From 04/1997 to 04/2002, 100 patients with MBC were enrolled. After a median follow-up of 49 months, median PFS and OS were 37.1 and 57.5 months, respectively. No WHO grade 3 or 4 toxicity was observed; grade 2 cutaneous toxicity and autoimmune reactions occurred in 19 and 16% of patients, respectively. A sustained improvement in lymphocytes, NKs, and in the CD4+/CD8+ ratio was observed, with respect to baseline values. In conclusion, MI with IL-2 and RA in MBC patients who do not progress after 6-8 courses of chemotherapy is well-tolerated, improves lymphocyte, NK, CD4+/CD8+ ratio, and appears to delay disease recurrence. A randomized trial is warranted.

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November 2008
Volume 20 Issue 5

Print ISSN: 1021-335X
Online ISSN:1791-2431

2015 Impact Factor: 2.486
Ranked #31/211 Oncology
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APA
Recchia, F., Sica, G., Candeloro, G., Necozione, S., Bisegna, R., Bratta, M., & Rea, S. (2008). Maintenance immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer. Oncology Reports, 20, 1173-1179. https://doi.org/10.3892/or_00000126
MLA
Recchia, F., Sica, G., Candeloro, G., Necozione, S., Bisegna, R., Bratta, M., Rea, S."Maintenance immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer". Oncology Reports 20.5 (2008): 1173-1179.
Chicago
Recchia, F., Sica, G., Candeloro, G., Necozione, S., Bisegna, R., Bratta, M., Rea, S."Maintenance immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer". Oncology Reports 20, no. 5 (2008): 1173-1179. https://doi.org/10.3892/or_00000126