A Pilot-Study With Low-dose hrIL-2 for the Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Peking University

Status and phase

Phase 2


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Drug: hrIL-2 placebo
Drug: hrIL-2 active

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Dysfunction of regulatory T (Treg) cells has been detected in diverse autoimmune diseases, which can be promoted by interleukin-2 (IL-2). In a previous small sample trail performed by the investigator's group, the investigators found that the Low-dose IL-2 was effective and well tolerated in active SLE, and the effect was associated with selective modulation of CD4+ T cell subsets. This clinical study will confirm the efficacy and safety of low dose IL-2 treatment in SLE. The investigators perform a single-centre, double-blind pilot trial with hrIL-2 in SLE.The investigators evaluate the effectiveness and safeness of low-dose hrIL-2 for Systemic lupus erythematosus by randomized controlled study (hrIL-2 (N = 30) versus placebo group (N = 30)).

Full description

Each SLE patients (n=60) with Scores>=8 on SLEDAI received low-dose IL-2 or placebo (active group: placebo group =1:1, 1 million units every other day subcutaneously (HrIL-2 1X 106, ip, Qod) for a period of 14 days. After a 14-day rest, another cycle started) for 3 cycles. The end points were safety and clinical and immunologic response.


60 estimated patients




18 to 65 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Meet the American College of Rheumatology criteria for the diagnosis of SLE,1997.
  • Under standard treatment (≥ 2 months) at the time of inclusion
  • Background treatment failed to control flares or to permit prednisone tapering
  • With at least one of the following manifestations: thrombocytopenia, disease-associated rash, mouth ulcer, non-infectious type of fever, active vasculitis, renal disorder(proteinuria>0.5g/day), neuropsychiatric SLE.
  • Positive for at least one of the following laboratory tests: ANA>1:160, anti-dsDNA, immunoglobulin>20g/L, decreased C3 or C4, leukopenia<3×10^9/L, thrombocytopenia<100×10^9/L;
  • SLE disease activity index(SLEDAI) ≥ 8.
  • Negative HIV test.
  • Negative for hepatitis B and C virus.
  • Negative urine pregnancy test.
  • Written informed consent form.

Exclusion criteria

  • Sever chronic liver, kidney, lung or heart dysfunction; (heart failure (≥ grade III NYHA), hepatic insufficiency (transaminases> 3N) )
  • Serious infection such as bacteremia, sepsis;
  • Cancer or history of cancer cured for less than five years (except in situ carcinoma of the cervix or Basocellular carcinoma);
  • High-dose steroid pulse therapy (>1.5mg/kg) or IV bolus of corticosteroids in the last 2 months.
  • History of administration of rituximab or other biologics;
  • Purified protein derivative (tuberculin) >10mm
  • Mental disorder or any other chronic illness or drug-abuse that could interfere with the ability to comply with the protocol or to give information;
  • Inability to comply with IL-2 treatment regimen.

Trial design

60 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

hrIL-2 active
Active Comparator group
Intervention:Add hrIL-2 according to the protocol to original treatment. HrIL-2 active: 1 million U doses of human recombinant interleukin-2 s.c. injection
Drug: hrIL-2 active
hrIL-2 placebo
Placebo Comparator group
1 million U doses of placebo s.c. injection
Drug: hrIL-2 placebo

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Jing He, MD; Tian Liu, MD

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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