Immunotherapeutic applications of IL-15

Michela Croce, Anna Maria Orengo, Bruno Azzarone, Silvano Ferrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IL-15 is a member of the IL-2 family of cytokines, which play a fundamental role in innate and adaptive immune responses. IL-15 has pleiotropic immune-enhancing activities, as it stimulates NK, T and NKT cell proliferation, survival and effector functions. In view of these properties, IL-15 is regarded as a good candidate for cancer immunotherapy. This possibility is reinforced by its low toxicity and efficacy in preclinical tumor models. The use of IL-15 to boost the immune response in HIV infection has also been proposed, although further studies are required to establish potential risks and benefits. Clinical trials of IL-15 have been initiated in cancer patients and in HIV vaccination and will elucidate the potential of IL-15-based immunotherapy. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the potential applications of IL-15 in cancer immunotherapy and HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-969
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • cancer immunotherapy
  • HIV infection
  • IL-15
  • IL-15Rα
  • lymphoid neoplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Oncology
  • Immunology


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