Immunomodulators in clinical medicine

A. S. Fauci, S. A. Rosenberg, S. A. Sherwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


A major difficulty limiting the use of immunomodulators in clinical medicine has been the complexity of the immunoregulatory network in which modulation of one component usually perturbs the entire system, thus diminishing the specificity of the approach. Lymphokine-activated killer cells infused with interleukin-2 have proved effective in inducing remissions in several advanced cancers, particularly metastatic renal cell carcinomas. The interferons have shown direct antiproliferative effects as well as specific effects on immune function. Alpha-interferon has shown impressive antitumor effects in hairy cell leukemia and significant antiviral effects in papillomavirus infection of the genital tract. Interleukin-2 has multifaceted effects on various limbs of the inflammatory and immune responses and may be the critical common denominator in the adjuvant effects of several other compounds. Monoclonal antibodies have assumed an increasing role in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to neoplastic and immune-mediated diseases. Finally, several immunomodulators are currently being tested in the treatment of the immune defect of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-433
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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