Administration of recombinant interferon γ to cancer patients enhances monocyte secretion of hydrogen peroxide
Recombinant interferon gamma (rIFN-gamma) activates macrophage antimicrobial and antitumor functions and related metabolic processes, including secretion of reactive oxygen intermediates in mice and in cultured mouse and human macrophages. To look for similar actions in man, we monitored the H2O2 secretory capacity of monocytes from cancer patients receiving intravenous rIFN-gamma at 0.1, 0.5, or 1.0 mg/m2 of body area over 6 hr daily or over 1 hr on alternate days. Monocytes taken just before the first infusion served as controls and were comparable to normal donor monocytes in secretion of H2O2. Monocytes from 11 of the 13 subjects (85%) studied through 20 treatment cycles responded to rIFN-gamma with elevation in H2O2 secretion in greater than or equal to 67% of the tests conducted greater than 1 hr after the start of treatment. Five of the five subjects tested had monocytes with diminished H2O2 secretory capacity when tested immediately after a 1-hr infusion of rIRN-gamma, at which time the amount of adherent mononuclear cell protein recovered from the blood averaged only 24% of the control. At all other times tested (from 6 hr to 5 days after infusion) combined results for all subjects showed enhancement of H2O2 releasing capacity. Statistically significant mean increases ranged from 1.4- to 2.8-fold above the control and included the sets in which monocytes collected 24 hr following a single infusion were assayed the same day or the next. By the criterion of enhanced H2O2 secretory capacity, the ability of rIFN-gamma to activate mononuclear phagocytes is manifest upon its administration to patients with advanced malignancy.