Interleukin-2 and leukemia

M. Goodman, L. Cabral, P. Cassileth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Leukemia has been treated with chemotherapy for the past 40 years with only moderate success. A growing body of evidence suggests that by augmenting the immune system more effective results may be obtained. This is highlighted by T cell reinfusions resulting in durable remissions in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia who have relapsed after an allogeneic transplant. Interleukin-2 is the primary growth factor for T lymphocytes and is a stimulator of natural killer cell activity. It has now been shown that a limited number of otherwise refractory leukemias can be effectively treated with interleukin-2. However, there remains a lack of correlation between the biologic and clinical effects of interleukin-2. The clinical activity of interleukin-2 appears to be greatest in myeloid leukemias. A variety of dose schedules and routes of administration make it difficult to determine if interleukin-2 given to patients in clinical remission is of benefit. Large randomized studies are necessary to explore the role of interleukin-2 in leukemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1671-1675
Number of pages5
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1998


  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Interleukin-2
  • Leukemia
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cancer Research


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