The investigational drug flavone-8-acetic acid (FAA) potently augments NK activity in the spleen, liver, lungs, and peritoneum in a dose-dependent manner after i.v. or i.p. administration. Augmented NK activity peaks by 24 h after FAA injection and returns to normal after 6 days. Combined treatment of established murine renal cancer with FAA and rIL-2 results in up to 80% long term survival whereas FAA or rIL-2 alone were unable to induce any long term survivors. The optimal dose of rIL-2 required for use with FAA was in the range of 10,000 to 30,000 U/day. Further studies demonstrated that the regimen of FAA plus rIL-2 administration that was effective in treating established murine renal cancer also induced a more potent augmentation of NK activity than did either FAA or rIL-2 alone. Subsequent studies revealed that the therapeutic effectiveness of FAA plus rIL-2 was significantly reduced when tumor-bearing mice were treated with anti-asialo GM1 serum. These results are consistent with a role for augmented NK activity in the therapeutic effects of FAA plus rIL-2 murine renal cancer. In addition, these studies demonstrate that FAA and rIL-2 is a useful approach for cancer treatment in that subtoxic doses of rIL-2 can be used and significant anti-tumor efficacy occurs even without accompanying adoptive immunotherapy.

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