Blijlevens, Nicole

In a recent review in Blood, Charlotte de Mooij and Nicole Blijlevens discuss the role of cytokines of the IL-1 familiy in hematological malignancies, chemotherapy-induced intestinal mucositis and graft-versus-host disease, and they speculate on possibilities of therapeutically targeting the iL-1 pathway in hematological patients. 

Abstract

Interleukin-1α (IL-1α) and IL-1β are potent inflammatory cytokines that activate local and systemic inflammatory processes and are involved in protective immune responses against infections. However, their dysregulated production and signaling can aggravate tissue damage during infection, inflammatory diseases and chemotherapy-induced intestinal mucositis. Additionally, cytokines of the IL-1 family play an important role in homeostatic as well as 'emergency' hematopoiesis and are involved in the pathogenesis of several myeloid and lymphoid hematological malignancies. In the pathogenesis of intestinal mucositis and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), these cytokines are considered pivotal during the initiation as well as propagation phase, and insights from animal studies suggest that targeting the IL-1 pathway can significantly ameliorate mucositis and GVHD. Moreover, IL-1α and IL-1β might prove to be valuable targets for both prevention and treatment of cancer and cancer therapy-related complications, and the first clinical studies have already been performed in the setting of hematological malignancies. In this review, we will discuss the role of cytokines of the IL-1 family in hematological malignancies, chemotherapy-induced intestinal mucositis and GVHD, and speculate on possibilities of therapeutically targeting the IL-1 pathway in hematological patients.


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