Effects of interleukin-3 on myelosuppression induced by chemotherapy for ovarian cancer and small cell undifferentiated tumours

M. W. Dercksen, K. Hoekman, W. W. Ten Bokkel Huinink, E. M. Rankin, R. Dubbelman, H. Van Tinteren, J. Wagstaff, H. M. Pinedo

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Two clinical studies were undertaken to study the toxicity profile and effects of interleukin-3 (rhIL-3) on chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression. Fifteen patients with recurrent ovarian carcinoma were treated with high dose carboplatin (800 mg m-2). All patients received 5.0 micrograms/kg/d rhIL-3 subcutaneously but timing and duration of rhIL-3 treatment differed. Constitutional symptoms were the major toxicity and in addition to the carboplatin-induced nausea and vomiting the combination was poorly tolerated. In 5/15 patients receiving high dose carboplatin rhIL-3 administration was discontinued due to nephrotoxicity (2 x), hypotension, severe malaise and bone pain. In this study, rhIL-3 ameliorated chemotherapy-induced neutropenia as well as thrombocytopenia and reduced the requirement for platelet transfusions in the second cycle of chemotherapy. However, rhIL-3 failed to prevent cumulative platelet toxicity. In the second study 12 patients with small cell undifferentiated cancers were treated with carboplatin, etoposide and ifosfamide. Three dose levels of rhIL-3 were explored (0.125, 5.0 and 7.5 micrograms/kg/d). In this study, toxicity of the treatment was mild, however, no beneficial haematologic effects of rhIL-3 could be demonstrated. In conclusion, the haematological effects of rhIL-3 were modest and dependent on the chemotherapeutic regimen, timing and duration of rhIL-3 treatment (in relation to the expected nadir). In general rhIL-3-induced toxicity was mild, but combination with high dose carboplatin could be hazardous if rhIL-3 is initiated at 24 h after the cytostatic agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1003
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


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