A Phase I/II Study of Chemotherapy Followed by Donor Lymphocyte Infusion plus Interleukin-2 for Relapsed Acute Leukemia after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Volume 17, Issue 9, p.1308-15 (2011)


2011, Acute Disease, Antineoplastic Agents, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Graft vs Host Disease, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Humans, Interleukin-2, LEUKEMIA, Lymphocyte Transfusion, Maximum Tolerated Dose, Research Trials Office Core Facility - Biostatistics Service, Salvage Therapy, September 2011, Shared Resources, Transplantation, Homologous


The efficacy of donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) for treatment of relapsed acute leukemia after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is limited. We hypothesized that interleukin-2 (IL-2) combined with DLI after chemotherapy might augment graft-versus-leukemia effects. To identify a safe and effective IL-2 regimen, a phase I/II study of DLI plus IL-2 therapy was performed for such patients. After chemotherapy, 17 patients received DLI (1 × 10(8) CD3/kg for patients with related donors, and 0.1 × 10(8) CD3/kg for those with unrelated donors) and an escalating dose of induction IL-2 (1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 × 10(6) IU/m(2)/day representing levels I [n = 7], Ia [n = 9], and II [n = 1]) for 5 days followed by maintenance (1.0 × 10(6) IU/m(2)/day) for 10 days as a continuous intravenous infusion. Unacceptable IL-2-related toxicities developed in 1 patient at level I, 2 at level Ia, and 1 at level II. Grades III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) developed in 5 patients, and extensive chronic GVHD (cGVHD) developed in 8. Eight patients had a complete remission after chemotherapy prior to DLI, and 2 additional patients had a complete remission after DLI plus IL-2 therapy. In conclusion, the maximal tolerated induction dose of IL-2 combined with DLI appears to be 1.0 × 10(6) IU/m(2)/day. IL-2 administration after DLI might increase the incidence of cGVHD.