Role of interleukin-2 in human hematological malignancies

Med Oncol. 1995 Sep;12(3):177-86. doi: 10.1007/BF01571195.


Clinical studies with Interleukin-2 (IL-2) in human hematologic malignancies were initiated in the late 1980s. Based on clinical studies on various solid tumors, and laboratory research on hematopoietic cells, IL-2 was shown to be effective in 150 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients mainly for maintenance therapy in first complete remission, or with residual blast cells in the marrow. IL-2 has also been shown to be effective in remission induction in 10 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The role of IL-2 in lymphoma patients remains to be established. IL-2 alone or in combination with Interferon-alpha, may intensify remission and prolong disease-free survival when given post autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT) to patients with lymphoma and myeloid leukemia, and to a lesser degree, to patients with acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL). IL-2 in combination with HLA-matched or mismatched peripheral blood lymphocytes was also used post autologous BMT in preliminary studies. IL-2 was administered with or without peripheral blood lymphocytes, for prevention of relapse post T-cell-depleted allogeneic BMT in CML, ALL and AML, with encouraging results. The same strategy was shown to be effective in the reinduction of remission in patients with CML, who relapsed post BMT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hematologic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / therapeutic use*
  • Leukemia / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma / drug therapy*


  • Interleukin-2