Still a role for cytokine therapy in sepsis/septic shock?
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Research involving the use of cytokine therapy to treat sepsis and septic shock is still underway despite disappointing clinical results with the use of monoclonal antibodies against tumour necrosis factor (TNF) in patients with sepsis. Knoll believes that the key to success with cytokine therapy in these indications may lie with appropriate patient selection. The company has evidence from early clinical trials that therapy with an anti-TNF monoclonal antibody will only benefit those patients with sepsis who have elevated plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6). This notion is being investigated in a phase III study. The details of the trial were presented at the 7th International IBC Conference on Sepsis [ Washington, US; April 1997 ]. In another development, Bayer is investigating the effects of its anti-TNF monoclonal antibody in patients with septic shock, while Cytokine Network has developed an agent that inhibits multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines by acting at an early stage of the cytokine cascade.