WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Daily low-dose interleukin-2 is safe and induces regulatory T (Treg) cell expansion with suppression of clinical manifestations in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and is also associated with Treg recovery and clinical improvement in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced vasculitis, according to two studies published in the Dec. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
John Koreth, M.B., B.S., D.Phil., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues investigated whether low-dose interleukin-2 enhanced Treg cells in vivo and suppressed clinical manifestations in 29 patients with chronic GVHD. No patient showed chronic GVHD progression or relapse of a hematologic cancer. Major responses involving multiple sites were seen in 12 of 23 patients evaluated for response. All patients showed a preferential increase of CD4+ Treg cells, with a peak median increase of more than eight times the baseline value, and no affect on CD4+ conventional T (Tcon) cells. The median Treg:Tcon ratio increased to more than five times the baseline values. These responses were sustained at eight weeks.
David Saadoun, M.D., Ph.D., from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, and colleagues investigated the safety and immunologic effects of low-dose interleukin-2 in 10 patients with HCV-induced vasculitis. There were no adverse events higher than grade 1. Treatment was associated with reduced cryoglobulinemia; improved vasculitis; increased percentage of CD4+, CD25high, and forkhead box P3 Tregs with potent suppressive activity; and a concomitant reduction in the proportion of marginal-zone B cells.
Low-dose interleukin-2 was not associated with adverse effects and led to Treg recovery and concomitant clinical improvement," Saadoun and colleagues write.
The Koreth study was funded by a Dana-Farber Dunkin' Donuts Rising Star award. Interleukin-2 used in Koreth's study was donated by Novartis and Prometheus Laboratories.
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