IL-7 is a member of the common γ -chain family of cytokines sharing a common γ -chain in their receptor. Beyond its long-established pivotal role in immune development, it has been more recently recognized as a critically important regulator of peripheral naïve and memory T cell homeostasis while its role in postdevelopment thymic function remains at best, poorly defined, and controversial. Its multiple immune-enhancing properties, most notably in the maintenance of T cell homeostasis, make it a very attractive candidate for immunotherapy in a wide variety of clinical situations. Following many years of rich preclinical data in murine and simian models, IL-7 is now emerging in human phase I trials as a very promising immunotherapeutic agent. Human in vivo data discussed here are derived from the phase I study initiated at the National Cancer Institute in collaboration with Cytheris, Inc., in a cohort of subjects with incurable malignancy.
KeywordsSevere Combine Immune Deficiency Recent Thymic Emigrant Autologous Melanoma Cell Incurable Malignancy Immune Depletion
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