We have studied the activity of recombinant human tumor necrosis factor (rHuTNF) on six different human tumor xenografts derived from primary breast and bowel tumors and maintained by passage in nude mice. When 5 µg rHuTNF was given daily intratumorally to mice with established (approximately, 0.5 cm) tumors, total tumor regression was observed by 3–4 weeks in three of six xenograft lines. In a further two lines tumor stasis or significant slowing of growth was seen. This antitumor action was not accompanied by any consistent macroscopic change in the tumor such as necrosis, but histological examination revealed tumor cell degeneration and a large peritumoral infiltration of host inflammatory cells after 4–7 days therapy. In contrast to these data, little effect was seen when the same dose of rHuTNF was administered i.p. to nude mice bearing these tumors. In only two of six lines was any significant slowing of tumor growth seen. A 5-fold increase in the i.p. dose resulted in improved activity on only one of two xenograft lines tested. Efficacy of the i.p. rHuTNF dose could, however, be enhanced by simultaneous administration of human interferon, α or γ. No obvious signs of toxicity were observed at all rHuTNF doses administered and weights of control and treated mice at the end of the experiments were comparable.

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