Local intratumoral tumor necrosis factor-alpha and systemic IFN-alpha 2b in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2001 Jul;21(7):475-84. doi: 10.1089/10799900152434349.


To examine tolerability and activity of local, intratumoral tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and systemic interferon-alpha2b (IFN-alpha2b) in locally advanced, hormone-resistant prostate cancer (LA-HRPC), 10 patients with LA-HRPC (T4N x M0, n = 3, T4N x M1, n = 5; T4N1M1, n = 2) were treated with recombinant TNF-alpha injected locally into prostate tumor tissue at 4-week intervals (maximum of four cycles) combined with intermittent subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of 5 x 10(6) IU IFN-alpha2b. Twenty-nine TNF-alpha cycles were administered. Despite significant TNF-alpha leakage into the systemic circulation 2 h after intraprostatic application (from a mean of 9 to a mean of 416 pg/ml; p = 0.0034), TNF-alpha (and IFN-alpha2b) was well tolerated (WHO grade 1-2 toxicity), possibly because of its rapid neutralization by increasing soluble 55-kDa and 75-kDa TNF receptor levels in the serum (mean increase 268% and 91%, respectively) at the same time. TNF-alpha induced prostate tumor cell necrosis in all patients, leading to a significant reduction of prostate volume in 9 of 10 cases (mean 38%; p = 0.0025). The significant short-term increase of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) (mean 65%; p < 0.001), tissue polypeptide-specific antigen (TPS) (mean 85%; p = 0.001), and possibly interleukin-8 (IL-8) (mean 2687%; p < 0.009) serum levels within 4 h after TNF-alpha confirmed the cytotoxic effect in vivo. In the long term, serum PSA levels dropped by 18%-87%, reaching the nadir value 7 weeks after baseline. Objective responses of metastases were not seen. Intraprostatic administration of TNF-alpha is feasible at a tolerable toxicity in patients with LA-HRPC and, thus, may be a new treatment option for these patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Interferon-alpha / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / blood
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / adverse effects
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Peptides
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • tissue polypeptide specific antigen
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen