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Immunotherapeutic Interleukin-6 or Interleukin-6 Receptor Blockade in Cancer: Challenges and Opportunities

[ Vol. 25 , Issue. 36 ]

Author(s):

Nirmala Chandralega Kampan, Sue D. Xiang, Orla M McNally, Andrew N. Stephens, Michael A. Quinn and Magdalena Plebanski*   Pages 4785 - 4806 ( 22 )

Abstract:


Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a well-known pro-inflammatory cytokine with pleiotropic activity is a central player in chronic inflammatory diseases including cancers. Therefore, blockade of the IL-6 signalling pathway has become a target for the therapy of diverse cancers such as multicentric Castleman’s disease (CD), multiple myeloma and solid tumours including renal, prostate, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancers. Monoclonal antibodies against IL-6 (Siltuximab) and the IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) (Tocilizumab) have emerged as potential immunotherapies, alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy. Human trials have demonstrated the ability to block IL-6 activity and in multicentric CD lead to durable clinical response and longer disease stabilisation. However, the efficacy of these treatments is still debatable for other cancers. New generation therapeutics in development such as Clazakizumab, Sarilumab, and soluble gp130-Fc have the additional features of improved binding affinity, better specificity with reduced adverse effects. A deeper understanding of the immunological basis of these agents, as well as of the challenges that are faced by immunotherapy-based products in clinical trials, will help select the most promising anti-IL-6/IL-6R therapies for large scale use. Concurrently, current research efforts to personalize treatments may help in the treatment of patients that would greatly benefit from IL-6 blocking therapies.

Keywords:

IL-6, IL-6 receptor, pro-inflammatory cytokine, immunotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, cancer, STAT-3, JAK-STAT signalling pathway.

Affiliation:

Department of Immunology & Pathology, Monash University, Level 6, The Alfred, Commercial Road, Melbourne 3181, VIC, Department of Immunology & Pathology, Monash University, Level 6, The Alfred, Commercial Road, Melbourne 3181, VIC, Gynae-oncology Unit, Royal Women’s Hospital, 20 Flemington Road, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Gynae-oncology Unit, Royal Women’s Hospital, 20 Flemington Road, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Department of Immunology & Pathology, Monash University, Level 6, The Alfred, Commercial Road, Melbourne 3181, VIC



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