Immunotherapy with low-dose interleukin-2 and a polysaccharopeptide derived from Coriolus versicolor.

Mao XW, Archambeau JO, Gridley DS.

Department of Radiation Medicine, Loma Linda University/Independent Order of Foresters Cancer Research Laboratory, CA 92350, USA.


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of locally administered low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) and a polysaccharopeptide (PSP) derived from Cariolous versicolor in a herpes virus Type 2-transformed murine tumor (H238) model and to determine possible mechanisms of action. BALB/c mice were inoculated subcutaneously (s.c.) with H238 tumor cells and randomized into groups: a) no tumor and no treatment control, b) tumor and no treatment control, c) tumor + IL-2 at 0 to 4 days, d) tumor + PSP at 0 to 10 days, e) tumor + IL-2 at 0 to 4 days + PSP at 0 to 10 days, and f) tumor + IL-2 at 15 to 19 days + PSP at 15 to 25 days. The IL-2 was administered s.c. at 2 x 10(4) i.u./mouse/injection; PSP was given s.c. at 2 mg/mouse/injection. No obvious toxicity was noted during the treatments. IL-2 and, to a lesser extent, PSP significantly slowed (p < 0.05) tumor progression when given alone immediately after tumor cell injection. The combination of the two modalities did not significantly enhance the antitumor effect of IL-2 alone. However, mice receiving both agents had IL-2 in the plasma, their tumors expressed low levels of transforming growth factor-beta, and their splenocyte response to mitogenic stimulation was significantly higher than in untreated controls. Changes in blood leukocyte populations and splenic oxidative burst capacity were associated with tumor presence, but not with the type of treatment. In vitro assays showed that both IL-2 and PSP can suppress the uptake of 3H-thymidine by tumor cells and that the effect is more pronounced whent the agents are used in combination. These results indicate that IL-2 and PSP can slow progression of H238 tumors and that the mechanisms of action may be related to their direct cytotoxic effects, as well to their immunomodulatory properties.

PMID: 10851500 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]