Aerosol delivery of interleukin 2 liposomes is nontoxic and biologically effective: Canine studies

Chand Khanna, Diane E. Hasz, Jeffrey S. Klausner, Peter M. Anderson

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65 Scopus citations


Administration of interleukin 2 (IL-2) has been associated with potent in vitro antitumor effects. However, systemic in vivo toxicity has been problematic. Because local delivery and liposomal formulations of IL-2 may improve the therapeutic index, we used dogs to evaluate and compare immunological activation of inhaled free IL-2 and IL-2 liposomes. Twelve normal dogs were treated with nebulized IL-2 formulations and controls for 2 to 7 weeks. Cellular immune activation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) effector leukocytes against tumor cell lines, changes in effector leukocyte populations, and toxicity were monitored. No toxicity was seen with either aerosolized free IL-2 or IL-2 liposomes. Free IL-2 given at 0.5 x 106 Biologic Response Modifier Program (BRMP) units twice daily to dogs resulted in increased peripheral blood mononuclear cell activation compared with saline control-treated dogs. IL-2 liposomes given at 0.5 x 106 BRMP units twice daily to dogs resulted in significantly increased BAL effector activation compared with IL-2 liposomes given at 1.0 x 106 BRMP units once daily (P = 0.018) and empty liposome controls (P = 0.016). The BAL leukocyte cell count was increased significantly after inhalation of IL-2 liposomes versus inhalation of free IL-2 (P = 0.011). BAL effector populations included a greater proportion and total number of lymphocytes and eosinophils after treatment with IL-2 liposomes. Nontoxic activation of pulmonary immune effecters for the treatment of cancer in the lung may be possible using nebulized IL-2 liposomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-734
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996


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