Effects of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) during high-dose interleukin-2 treatment for metastatic cancer

Wolfram E. Samlowski, Gail Wiebke, Martha McMurry, Motomi Mori, John H. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Patients treated with high doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) develop profound anorexia, malaise, loss of energy, mucositis, nausea, and vomiting, which may contribute to poor nutrition. We hypothesized that total parenteral nutrition (TPN) administration would ameliorate these changes and could improve fluid and electrolyte balance. A retrospective analysis of protein and energy intake was performed in 21 sequential patients who received a normal diet (controls) and 16 subsequent patients who received TPN during IL-2 treatment. The effect of TPN on laboratory abnormalities induced by IL-2 was also evaluated. Within 24 h of starting IL-2, mean energy intake declined to 2.5-2.8 kcat/kg in controls in contrast to the energy intake of 25-29 kcat/kg in patients receiving TPN. Protein nutrition was affected in a similar fashion, with a markedly lower protein intake in controls (0.08-0.12 g/kg) than in the TPN group (1.02-1.10 g/kg). TPN improved serum calcium and potassium concentrations, particularly during spontaneous diuresis after completion of IL-2 treatment. Unexpectedly, TPN decreased the frequency and severity of cholestatic jaundice caused by IL-2. Patients receiving TPN had an increased propensity for hyperglycemia and hypophosphatemia. High-dose intravenous bolus IL-2 therapy resulted in a markedly negative nutritional balance in control patients. A brief period of TPN during IL-2 treatment was well tolerated and corrected calorie and protein malnutrition. TPN administration also improved control of serum electrolytes. TPN did not adversely affect tumor progression or patient survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-2
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Total parenteral nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) during high-dose interleukin-2 treatment for metastatic cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this