Predominance of TH1 response in tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients treated with AS101

Benjamin Sredni, Thomas Tichler, Adi Shani, Rafael Catane, Bella Kaufman, Gideon Strassmann, Michael Albeck, Yona Kalechman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Background: Several studies have recently suggested that the immune response to malignant growths is regulated by distinct patterns of type 2 cytokine production. These cytokines, regulating the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte response in patients with advanced cancers, may be associated with disease progression. Evidence suggests that the T Helper 1 (TH1) and T Helper 2 (TH2) types of reaction are reciprocally regulated in vivo. The immunomodulator AS101 (ammonium trichloro[dioxoethylene-O,O']tellurate) was found to stimulate mouse and human cells to proliferate and secrete a variety of cytokines. Clinical trials using AS101 on cancer patients are now in progress. Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of AS101 to modulate TH1 and TH2 responses in tumor-bearing mice and in patients with advanced cancer. In addition, we investigated the association between the predominance of each type of response with the antitumoral effects of AS101. Methods: Mice into which Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) had been transplanted (n = 221) and cancer patients (n = 13) were treated with AS101 on alternate days, at 10 μg/mouse intraperitoneally, or for the patients, at 3 mg/m2 intravenously. The types were sarcoma, melanoma, and colon, lung, ovarian, and renal cancers. Cytokine levels were determined by immunoassay kits and compared with the paired Student's t test: in mice, they were tested in spleen cell supernatants; in humans, in sera and mononuclear cell supernatants. The chi-squared test was used to compare tumor volumes. All P values represent two-sided tests of statistical significance. Results: Our results show that treatment of mice and patients with AS101 results in a clear predominance in TH1 responses, with a concomitant decrease in the TH2- type response. This was reflected by a significant enhancement in interleukin 2 (IL-2) and interferon gamma (IFN γ) levels (P<.01) paralleled by a substantial decrease in IL-4 and IL-10 (P<.01). Moreover, the concentration of IL-12 was significantly increased (P<.01) in AS101-treated patients who also showed enhanced levels of natural and lymphokine-activated killer cell- mediated cytotoxicity. The statistically significant increases in IL-2 and IFN-γ levels, paralleled by the pronounced decrease in IL-4 and IL-10 in the AS101-treated mice, were associated with its antitumoral effects. In addition, systemic cotreatment of 3LL-transplanted mice with AS101 and anti- IL-12 antibodies partly abrogated the antitumoral effect of AS101. Conclusions: Immunotherapy with AS101 enhances TH1 function while interfering with the TH2 response. This TH1 trend may be related to the antitumor effects of AS101. Implications: Isolation and characterization of a distinct cytokine pattern in patients with advanced cancer treated with AS101 may contribute to the development of intervention strategies using this compound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276-1284
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number18
StatePublished - 18 Sep 1996


Dive into the research topics of 'Predominance of TH1 response in tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients treated with AS101'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this