Anti-cytokine therapy has promoted a revolution in the treatment of several inflammatory disorders during the past 10 years. Despite their medical and commercial success, they exhibit several drawbacks: difficulties of production, excessive costs, and a few side-effects. A promising alternative to the passive infusion of monoclonal antibodies or soluble cytokine receptors is the use of the active anti-cytokine immune therapy (ACIT). Surprisingly, clinical studies suggested the interest of this approach during the late 1980s, even before the advent of anti-cytokine passive immunotherapy. In this review, we first explain the involvement of several cytokines in many common diseases involving cytokine overproduction, and identify key targets for anti-cytokine treatments. We then present an update on current advances in preclinical and clinical development of passive anti-cytokine therapeutic approaches. We further discuss progresses in the promising field of active anti-cytokine immunotherapy. Cytokine receptors biologics and small molecules developed using structure/function information, which also constitute important options for treating the cytokine-mediated diseases, are not discussed in this review.
Keywords: Anti-cytokine therapy, asthma, autoimmunity, cancer, cytokines, diabetes, immune-mediated inflammatory disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis
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