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Outpatient Interleukin-2-Based Combination Therapy is as Effective as High-Dose Interleukin-2 Treatment for Patients with Kidney Cancer

Outcomes for patients with metastatic kidney cancer are poor with only 5% achieving long-term control of their cancer. High-dose interleukin-2 therapy with or without alfa interferon has been the standard treatment for many years for patients with metastatic kidney cancer. This treatment usually requires hospitalization and some patients need intensive care. Recently, several institutions have evaluated less toxic outpatient treatments with the same drugs for patients with metastatic kidney cancer.

Physicians in Germany evaluated outcomes with hospital-based or outpatient-based treatments for 215 patients with kidney cancer. They found that an outpatient regimen of interleukin-2, alfa interferon, and 5 fluorouracil resulted in an overall response rate of 39% with 10% being complete responses and 5% of patients becoming long-term survivors.

These physicians concluded that an outpatient regimen of interleukin-2, alfa interferon, and 5 fluorouracil was as effective as the most aggressive interleukin 2 regimens. Combination therapy at home eliminated the need for inpatient and/or intensive care associated with more intensive interleukin-2 regimens. (

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Journal of Urology, Vol 155, pp 19-25, 1996)

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