To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Histamine in cancer immun… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Histamine in cancer immunotherapy.

Journal article
Authors Kristoffer Hellstrand
Svante Hermodsson
Mats Brune
Peter Naredi
Jan Carneskog
Ulf-Henrik Mellqvist
Published in Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation
Volume 57
Issue 3
Pages 193-202
ISSN 0036-5513
Publication year 1997
Published at
Pages 193-202
Language en
Keywords Animals, Antineoplastic Agents, therapeutic use, Histamine, therapeutic use, Humans, Immunotherapy, Active, methods
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology


A novel strategy for enhancing the efficacy of immunotherapy with interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) in human neoplasia is presented. IL-2 and IFN-alpha are potent activators of the antitumour activity of natural killer (NK) cells but only rarely reduce the tumour burden in treated patients. Recent studies suggest that a reason why these cytokines are insufficiently effective in human cancer is that phagocytes inhibit the tumour-killing activity of NK cells at the site of the tumour. Histamine prevents the phagocyte-induced, NK cell-inhibiting signal; thus, histamine and IL-2 or histamine and IFN-alpha synergize to induce NK cell-mediated killing of human tumour cells in vitro. Further, treatment of tumour-bearing mice with histamine enhances IL-2- and IFN-alpha-induced destruction of NK cell-sensitive tumour cells in vivo. More than 50 patients with neoplastic disease have been treated with histamine, given in subcutaneous injections, together with IL-2 or IFN-alpha. The results of two pilot trials in metastatic melanoma suggest that the addition of histamine to IL-2 and IFN-alpha prolongs survival time and induces regression of tumours, such as liver melanoma, which are otherwise considered refractory to immunotherapy. The results of a trial in acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) suggest that histamine and IL-2 protects AML patients against relapse of leukaemic disease. Histamine is well tolerated: for example, AML patients in remission have treated themselves with histamine at home without supervision for a total of > 300 weeks with only a handful of therapy-related hospital contacts. Controlled trials in melanoma and AML are under way to further investigate the putative benefit of histamine in neoplastic disease.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?