Cytokines in cancer therapy

Giorgio Parmiani, Licia Rivoltini, Giovanna Andreola, Matteo Carrabba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytokines are crucial factors in the activation and development of immune response, including responses against tumor cells. Interleukin (IL)-2, a T-cell growth factor, has been largely used to activate T and NK cells in vivo and to maintain such an activation for therapeutic purposes. When given to patients, IL-2 was shown to cause clinical responses, especially in metastatic melanoma and renal cancer patients, though its mechanism of action could not be completely elucidated. Cytokines (IL-2, IL-12, GM-CSF) are also used as natural adjuvants of vaccines of various formulation to help in activating and maintaining an antitumor immune response. This review summarizes findings deriving from the use of cytokines in cancer therapy and provides insights into future approaches when a more appropriate use of cytokines, together with new vaccines, is likely to improve clinical outcome. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2000


  • Cancer
  • Cytokines
  • Immune response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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