We have studied the cytotoxic effects of recombinant tumour necrosis factor and recombinant gamma interferon on primary cultures of leukaemia cells. The agents were added alone or in a combination to cells from 17 patients. Eleven had acute myeloblastic leukaemia (6 at presentation, 5 at relapse), 4 had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, one had hairy cell leukaemia, and 2 had chronic myeloid leukaemia - one of whom was in myeloid blast transformation. Cells from patients with lymphoid malignancies or from the patient with chronic phase CML were not affected by either agent in any dose combination. In contrast, reduction of viability of myeloid blasts was weakly accelerated by TNF and γ-interferon individually. Combination of the agents invariably produced enhanced killing and additive or synergistic effects were seen when 20-500 IU ml-1 of each cytokine was present. This sensitivity was also shown by blast cells from 5 patients with relapsed AML. We therefore suggest that trials of such combination therapy may be indicated in drug resistant or relapsed AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research