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Transfus Med Hemother. 2013 Oct;40(5):336-43. doi: 10.1159/000354194. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Impact of interleukin-6 in hematological malignancies.

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Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Immunotherapy, 2nd Department of Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein and Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany.


Almost 3 decades have passed since the discovery and cloning of IL-6, and a tremendous amount of work has contributed to the current knowledge of the biological functions of this cytokine, its receptor, and the signaling pathways that are activated. The understanding of the role of IL-6 in human disease has led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies that block the biological functions of IL-6. In clinical studies, IL-6 and IL-6 receptor antibodies have proven efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and Castleman's disease, conditions that are known to be driven by IL-6. The focus of this overview is the role of IL-6 in the pathophysiology of hematological malignancies.


Interleukin-6; Leukemia; Lymphoma; Multiple myeloma; gp130

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