[Skip to Navigation]
May 1996

Interleukins 2 and 12 Activate Natural Killer Cytolytic Responses of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Patients With Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Rashleigh and Endicott) and the Department of Biochemistry, Immunology Program (Drs Kusher, Rossi, and Djeu), University of South Florida School of Medicine, Tampa. Dr Rashleigh is now in private practice in Savannah, Ga. Drs Kusher and Rossi are now with the Department of Pediatrics, All Children's Hospital, St Petersburg, Fla.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(5):541-547. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890170073014

Objectives:  To examine the capacity of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) to modulate the cytolytic activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells against squamous cell carcinoma, and to determine whether peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors respond differently to IL-12 than do peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Design:  Case-comparison study of a consecutive sample of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who were scheduled to undergo surgical excision.

Participants:  The study included 10 patients with stage III or IV carcinoma matched with 10 volunteer blood donors.

Intervention:  Isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients and volunteers were treated with IL-2, 10 U/mL and 100 U/mL; IL-12,1 U/mL or 10 U/mL; or a combination of IL-2 and IL-12.

Results:  The combination of IL-2 and IL-12 consistently produced the greatest activation of cytolysis than either cytokine alone at all concentrations tested. This increased activity against a squamous cell carcinoma cell line was seen in lymphocytes from volunteers and patients.

Conclusion:  Our findings suggest a new treatment regimen for the patient with head and neck cancer that uses immunomodulation with a combination of cytokines.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:541-547)