Intraperitoneal injection of human rIL-1 in a dose of 0.5 microgram daily for 5 d, or 1 microgram daily for 3 d, was capable of causing complete regression of immunogenic SA1 sarcoma growing subcutaneously in syngeneic or semisyngeneic mice. Higher doses of IL-1 were not more therapeutic against the SA1 sarcoma, but needed to be given to cause complete regression of the immunogenic L5178Y lymphoma. On the other hand, the P815 mastocytoma was much less responsive to IL-1 therapy, in that it failed to undergo complete regression in response to doses of IL-1 capable of causing regression of the L5178Y lymphoma. IL-1 caused regression of the SA1 sarcoma when given on days 6-8 of tumor growth, but not when given on days 1-3. This refractoriness of a small tumor to IL-1 therapy suggests that the antitumor action of IL-1 is based on an underlying host-immune response that is not generated until after day 3 of tumor growth. Direct evidence for the participation of host immunity in IL-1-induced tumor regression was supplied by results showing that IL-1 was not therapeutic against the SA1 sarcoma growing in T cell-deficient (TXB) mice, unless these mice were first infused with Ly-2+ and L3T4+ T cells from donor mice bearing an established SA1 sarcoma. In contrast, normal T cells, or T cells from donor mice bearing a YAC-1 lymphoma, failed to provide TXB recipients with the ability to cause regression of their SA-1 sarcoma in response to IL-1 treatment. The results are in keeping with the interpretation that exogenous IL-1, by augmenting the production of tumor-sensitized T cells, converts a subtherapeutic level of host immunity to a therapeutic level. The results suggest, in addition, that IL-1 only stimulates the replication of T cells that are already engaged in the antitumor immune response.

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