The majority of patients with advanced lung cancer die within a few years. Accordingly, new therapeutic modalities need to be developed. Interleukin (IL)-12 was previously known as natural killer (NK) cell stimulatory factor or cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor. By virtue of its effects on T cells and NK cells, IL-12 seems to be one of the key cytokines that regulates cell-mediated anti tumor immune responses. Recently, there has been a substantial interest in the potential applications of IL-12 in the treatment of lung cancer. However, there have been no reports about the effect of IL-12 on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from lung cancer patients in an autologous setting. In this study, we examined the cytotoxicity of PBMC activated by IL-2, IL-12 or both against K562 or autologous lung cancer cells. In contrast to the effect of IL-2 on NK activity, IL-12 alone augmented NK activity against K562 cells, but not against autologous lung cancer cells. IL-12 augmented the IL-2 mediated cytotoxicity of PBMC against both K562 and autologous lung cancer cells. In the absence of IL-2, IL-12 alone cannot induce an autologous anti-tumor effect in vivo. In summary, our results clearly demonstrated that IL-12 can augment the cytolytic activity of PBMC against K562 and autologous lung cancer cells when combined with IL-2, although, IL-12 alone was unable to induce a marked increase in the cytotoxicity against autologous lung cancer cells. These results suggest that an administration of IL-12 in combination with IL-2 may be a useful therapeutic option for solid tumors.
- Lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research