Phase I trial of sequential low-dose 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine plus high-dose intravenous bolus interleukin-2 in patients with melanoma or renal cell carcinoma.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: The silencing of gene expression through DNA methylation contributes to defects in antigen presentation and apoptosis in melanoma and renal cell cancer. To determine how a hypomethylating agent would modulate the toxicity and antitumor activity of immunotherapy, we initiated a phase I trial of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (decitabine) plus high-dose interleukin 2 (IL-2). EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients received s.c. decitabine daily x 5 days on weeks 1 and 2 of a 12-week cycle. High-dose IL-2, consisting of two cycles of IL-2 600,000 IU/kg i.v. q8 hours x 14 doses separated by a 2-week break, was administered starting on week 3. Decitabine was escalated from 0.1 to 0.25 mg/kg. The hypomethylating activity of decitabine was assessed during cycle 1 by measuring hemoglobin F levels and changes in DNA methylation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. RESULTS: Twenty-one patients with melanoma or renal cell cancer were enrolled. Decitabine did not alter the tolerability of IL-2 but caused grade 4 neutropenia in most patients. Grade 4 neutropenia lasting more than 7 days was the only dose-limiting toxicity, with a trend toward a higher incidence with increasing decitabine doses. Infection occurred in only one patient despite the high incidence of neutropenia, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor use in several patients expedited neutrophil recovery. Decitabine augmented hemoglobin F levels and altered DNA methylation and gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in a dose-independent manner that overlapped with the administration of IL-2. Objective responses occurred in 31% of melanoma patients. CONCLUSIONS: Decitabine can be safely administered with high-dose IL-2 and may enhance the activity of IL-2 in melanoma.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gollob, JA; Sciambi, CJ; Peterson, BL; Richmond, T; Thoreson, M; Moran, K; Dressman, HK; Jelinek, J; Issa, J-PJ

Published Date

  • August 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 15

Start / End Page

  • 4619 - 4627

PubMed ID

  • 16899610

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16899610

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1078-0432

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-0883


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States