A delicate balance: Tweaking IL-2 immunotherapy

James L.M. Ferrara, Thomas Malek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2) is important for the activation of several types of immune cells, including T cells, and its clinical potential has been previously explored in the context of boosting immune responses to cancer and infectious diseases. However, two recent studies provide evidence that low-dose IL-2 therapy can suppress adverse immune reactions. Koreth et al.1 showed that IL-2 therapy reversed graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients who had undergone allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to treat lymphoma or leukemia. Similarly, Saadoun et al.2 found that IL-2 treatment had clinical benefit in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related vasculitis with IL-2. Both studies suggested that IL-2's therapeutic effects might be mediated through suppressive regulatory T cells (Treg cells), as Treg cell counts were higher in treated individuals. We asked three experts to comment on the implications of these studies for IL-2 immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-209
Number of pages2
JournalNature medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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