The rationale for combining the high dose bolus aldesleukin with hydroxychloroquine includes potential positive interactions on the immune regulatory side, non-overlapping toxicities, and potential for prolongation and increased number of responses based on pre-clinical studies conducted at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Lotze and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Donna Stolze, PhD, associate director of the Center for Biologic Imaging and associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh, are among the authors of the pre-clinical study’s results recently published in the journal, Cancer Research.
The ongoing clinical study is a multi-center phase II study designed to estimate the efficacy of combination therapy of standard high dose bolus IL-2 and various doses of hydroxychloroquine therapy in metastatic RCC patients.
"What's new is our understanding of autophagy," Dr. Lotze said. "Our innovation was to marry tumor immunology to autophagy."
Abstract (Inhibiting autophagy during interleukin 2 immunotherapy promotes long term tumor regression. Liang X, de Vera ME, Buchser WJ, Romo de Vivar Chavez A, Loughran P, Beer-Stolz D, Basse P, Wang T, van Houten B, Zeh HJ, Lotze M. Cancer Research; online 2012 April 3.)