Myositis associated with interleukin-2 therapy in a patient with metastatic renal cell carcinoma

F. J. Esteva-Lorenzo, J. E. Janik, R. G. Fenton, A. Emslie-Smith, Andrew G Engel, D. L. Longo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Background. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been used successfully in the treatment of some patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma and melanoma, with a partial response rate of 15%-20%. It produces a well documented spectrum of side effects. Autoimmune diseases have been associated with IL-2 immunotherapy and the development of autoimmune thyroiditis may correlate with antitumor clinical response. Methods. A patient with metastatic renal cell carcinoma is described who developed a polymyositis-like myopathy after an autologous tumor vaccine and IL-2 therapy. Results. The patient had a delayed response for 15 months after developing this previously unreported toxicity. Conclusions. To the authors' knowledge, this represents the first reported case of necrotizing myositis in association with IL-2 therapy. Subsequent continuous partial response of the advanced malignancy was observed for 15 months. In this case, IL-2 may have broken tolerance to both normal muscle cells and tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1223
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1995



  • immunotherapy
  • interleukin-2
  • myositis
  • renal cell cancer
  • tumor vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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