Immunotargets Ther 2015 7;4:79-89. Epub 2015 Apr 7.
Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; Department of Genomic Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
High-dose interleukin-2 has been used for the treatment of metastatic melanoma since 1998 based on data proving durable complete responses in up to 10% of treated patients. The immunomodulatory effects of this critical cytokine have been instrumental in the development of immunotherapy for melanoma and other cancers. However, with the advent of new therapies, its use as a front-line agent has come into question. Nonetheless, there is still a role for interleukin-2 as monotherapy, as well as in combination with other agents and in clinical trials. In this article, we review preclinical and clinical data regarding interleukin-2, its pharmacology and mechanism of action, its toxicity profile, and its use in ongoing and planned clinical trials. We also explore the future of this agent within the treatment landscape for melanoma.