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Home » Immunotherapies (IL-2, IL-15, PD-1s, etc.) » The biology of interleukin-2 and interleukin-15: Implications for cancer therapy and vaccine design

The biology of interleukin-2 and interleukin-15: Implications for cancer therapy and vaccine design

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Immunotherapies (IL-2, IL-15, PD-1s, etc.), Other Drugs, RCC News & Research - No comments
IL-15 graphic

 

Below is a brief summary of a medical article authored by the National Cancer Institute’s Thomas Waldmann, head of immunotherapy at NCI, about his work developing IL-15 as a potential treatment for kidney cancer and melanoma patients. In this article, Waldmann lays out the differences between IL-2 and IL-15. The article was published in a scientific journal (Nature Reviews: Immunology) and can be a little … well, technical. Any article that uses the words/phrases heterotrimeric, autoreactive, cytokine-receptors, signal transduction,  tyrosine kinases, phosphatidylinositol and (IL-2Rbeta), IL-15Rbeta and CD122) all in one paragraph should be flagged as potentially causing brain damage in lay persons attempting to read it. Nonetheless, if you can wade through the biologese it provides excellent insights into the differences between IL-2 and IL15. For those of us who have undergone IL-2, the information here is intriguing: A drug that potentially achieves the same results of prompting the body’s immune system to attack the cancer but without the brutal side effects and with the capability to forever remember the cancerous cells and prevent recurrences. Of course, the research is still young. There has been promise in research conducted on mice and primates, but NCI has only just begun a Phase I trial on humans. Indeed, I’m only the thirteenth human being to undergo this therapy.

To get a less scientifically sound but more readable perspective from an active participant, you can find my writings about my experiences on IL-15 elsewhere on this blog. Also, I have summarized my own notes on the article below, supplemented by conversations with Dr. Waldmann, in a separate post: ssssss.

 

The biology of interleukin-2 and interleukin-15: Implications for cancer therapy and vaccine design

Interleukin-2 and interleukin-15 have pivotal roles in the control of the life and death of lymphocytes. Although their heterotrimeric receptors have two receptor subunits in common, these two cytokines have contrasting roles in adaptive immune responses. The unique role of interleukin-2 is in the elimination of self-reactive T cells to prevent autoimmunity. By contrast, interleukin-15 is dedicated to the prolonged maintenance of memory T-cell responses to invading pathogens. As discussed in this Review, the biology of these cytokines will affect the development of novel therapies for malignancy and autoimmune diseases, as well as the design of vaccines against infectious diseases.

Read the full article: The biology of interleukin-2 and interleukin-15: Implications for cancer therapy and vaccine design.

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