Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 726925, 7 pages
Clinical Study

High-Dose Interleukin-2 (HD IL-2) Therapy Should Be Considered for Treatment of Patients with Melanoma Brain Metastases

1Department of Dermatology, Anheuser-Busch Institute, Saint Louis University, 1402 S. Grand Boulevard., 4th Floor, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA
2Division of Hematology and Oncology, Saint Louis University, 3655 Vista Avenue, 3rd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
3Center for Outcomes Research, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Avenue, 4th Floor, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA
4Division of General Surgery, Saint Louis University, 3655 Vista Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Received 26 February 2013; Revised 20 April 2013; Accepted 22 April 2013

Academic Editor: Vassilios A. Georgoulias

Copyright © 2013 Melinda B. Chu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A retrospective review was performed on patients with stable melanoma brain metastases treated with HD IL-2 therapy (720,000 IU/kg per dose intravenously; 14 doses, 2 cycles per course, maximum 2 courses) from January 1999 to June 2011 at Saint Louis University. There were 5 men and 3 women; median age was 52.2 years (26.8–61.1 years). One patient started treatment with lung lesions only (after resection of melanoma brain disease) and experienced partial response. Seven patients had brain metastases at treatment initiation. Median overall survival (mOS) for entire cohort ( ) was 8.7 months (2.1 to 19.0 months). All patients with brain metastases at first dose ( ) showed progressive disease; mOS was 6.7 months (range 2.1–18.2 months) for this group. Patients received radiosurgery and whole brain radiation before and after HD IL-2 therapy. One patient had symptoms suggestive of neurotoxicity. A history of alcohol abuse was revealed during admission. The patient's symptoms improved with initiation of an alcohol withdrawal protocol. In this analysis, patients with melanoma brain metastases received HD IL-2 without treatment-related mortality. We think that HD IL-2 should be considered as a treatment option in patients with melanoma brain metastases who are otherwise eligible for therapy.