Author(s): Segura Huerta AA, Tordera P, Cercs AC, Yuste AL, LpezTendero P,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (MRCC) has been characteristically unresponsive to chemotherapy. In lieu of an effective regimen, interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon alfa are considered drugs of choice to treat this cancer. Subcutaneous IL-2 is safe and well tolerated, with a mortality rate <3\%. OBJECTIVE: To report a case of cutaneous and hematologic toxicity in a patient treated with IL-2. CASE SUMMARY: A 67-year-old woman received radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer that had metastasized to the bone and lungs. IL-2 was part of the regimen. After 5 days of treatment with IL-2, the patient developed a hemorrhagic lesion that progressed to toxic epidermal necrolysis, as well as grade 4 pancytopenia. She died 10 days after treatment was begun. At the time of death, leukocytes were 0.3 x 10(3)/mm(3), platelets 10 x 10(3)/mm(3), and hemoglobin 6.8 mg/dL. DISCUSSION: Cutaneous IL-2 adverse effects are frequent, but generally mild and reversible. The adverse hematologic effects are usually transitory and pancytopenia is not frequent. The severity of cutaneous and hematologic toxicity experienced by our patient has rarely been reported. CONCLUSIONS: The use of IL-2 in bedridden patients with performance status >2 must be given on an individualized basis. If radiotherapy over extensive areas of the body is needed, the use of IL-2 must be postponed until radiotherapy is completed.
This article was published in Ann Pharmacother
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research