Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells have recently been shown to be very efficient effector cells for antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Thus, we explored, in a murine lymphoma model, administration of LAK-inducing doses of interleukin 2 (IL-2) or adoptive transfer of LAK cells as a means of enhancing therapy with tumor-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb). AKR/Cum (Thy-1.2+) hosts were inoculated on day 1 s.c. with the SL-2 thymoma of AKR/J origin (Thy-1.1+) and developed palpable tumor on day 4. Tumor-specific anti-Thy-1.1 IgG2a mAb, 1A14, was given on days 4 and 8 with 50,000 units/day IL-2 i.p. divided in two doses on days 4–12. Therapy with IL-2 or mAb alone had minimal activity, prolonging control median survival of 22 days to 25 and 29 days, respectively, whereas therapy with IL-2 plus mAb significantly prolonged median survival to 40 days. However, combined therapy did not result in cures and long term survival. The efficacy of combined therapy did not result from alterations in the biodistribution of mAb by concurrent IL-2 infusions, as determined by studies with radiolabeled mAb.

The combined effect of in vitro generated LAK (108 cells) adoptively transferred i.v. with 1A14 on days 4 and 8 following SL-2 inoculation was also evaluated. This regimen had no detectable toxicity, and treatment of mice with LAK and mAb resulted in 60% long term survival compared with 17% or 0% for mice treated with mAb or LAK alone. Thus, the therapeutic effects of tumor-specific mAb was enhanced by in vivo administration of IL-2 or by adoptively transferred LAK, which may represent means to provide the host with increased antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity effector cells. Adoptively transferred LAK has the additional benefit of augmenting mAb therapy of tumor without the toxicity associated with the induction of such cells in vivo with high dose IL-2.


This work was supported by USPHS Grants CA33084 and CA43081 and American Cancer Society Research Grant IM-304.

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