IL-21 may prove effective in metastatic melanoma

August 29, 2012

Interleukin-21 demonstrated a significant overall response rate in first-line treatment of metastatic melanoma and warrants further examination, according to a new study.

Toronto - Interleukin-21 (IL-21) demonstrated a significant overall response rate (ORR) in first-line treatment of metastatic melanoma and warrants further examination, according to a new study.

Researchers with Toronto’s Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre conducted a phase 2, multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of IL-21 in patients with metastatic melanoma, HealthDay News reports. Two of the groups received either 30 µg/kg per day (30 patients) or 50 µg/kg per day (three patients) intravenously for five days of each week during weeks one, three and five of an eight-week cycle. A third group received 50 µg/kg per day (seven patients) for five days of each week during weeks one and three of a six-week cycle.

The ORR was 22.5 percent, with nine partial responses and 16 with stable disease. Median duration of response for all responders was 5.3 months. Response was not dependent on either BRAF mutation status or IL-21 receptor expression. Overall, median progression-free survival was 4.3 months and median overall survival was 12.4 months.

“Promising anti-tumor activity was observed at both doses and schedules used in this trial, although the numbers treated are too small for definitive comparisons to be made,” the authors wrote. “Responses were seen at all disease sites, including skin, lymph nodes, lung, liver and other visceral organs.”

The study was published online Aug. 20 in the

Journal of Clinical Oncology

.

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