Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 2000; 24(Supplement 1).

A new approach to cancer immunotherapy – IFNANK (interferon-alpha activated natural killer lymphocytes) therapy –

S Tomita MD, T Kishida MD PhD, M Tanigawa MD, K Uno PhD, A KishiI PhM, S Fujita MD PhD

Louis Pasteur Center for Medical Research, Kyoto, Japan,

AIMS: IFNANK therapy is intended to promote the innate immunity for immunoprevention of recurrent diseases on curative operation (IP) cases, and for achieving the coexistence of the hosts and the neoplasms to extend the survival term with better QOL on recurrent and/or advanced (RA) cases. Here, we review the 5 years of results of this therapy and discuss on its indication and limitation. METHODS: About 5 billion self lymphocytes collected by leukopheresis were treated with 100 thousand IU of interferon-alpha (IFN) in vitro and returned immediately. Immunological and clinical parameters were determined after every course, and the prognoses were followed after completion of the therapy. RESULTS: Among 168 treated cases, 148 cases could be investigated. Unfavorable but not severe side effects were seen in 4 cases (2.7%) including allergic reaction to IFN. In 28 IP cases, the median survival time (MST) was 30 months (max; 53 months) and 17 cases (60.7%) are alive with disease free status. In 120 RA cases, MST was 7 months (max; 42 months) and 32 cases (26.7%) are alive keeping good performance status (PS) in spite of tumor bearing state. The initial degree of PS, number of treatments and level of immunological responses during the therapy were related with the clinical outcome. CONCLUSIONS: IFNANK therapy could be performed on any patients for its minimum side effects. However, to improve the clinical results, 1) the cases should be limited according to its immunological responses; 2) co-use of other cytokines or low dose chemotherapies should be considered.

KEY WORDS: Innate immunity, Interferon-alpha, Immunoprevention, Advanced cancer, .

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Impact of Biotechnology on Cancer Diagnostic & Prognostic Indicators; Geneva, Switzerland; October 28 - 31, 2000; in the section on immunotherapy.