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IL-15 Agonists: The Cancer Cure Cytokine | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 1747-0862

Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine
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Mini Review

IL-15 Agonists: The Cancer Cure Cytokine

Jennifer Wu1,2,3*

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA

2Cancer Immunology Program, Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston, SC, USA

3Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Corresponding Author:
Jennifer Wu
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
Tel: (843) 792-9222
Fax: (843) 793-9588
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: September 25, 2013; Accepted date: October 23, 2013; Published date: October 28, 2013

Citation: Wu J (2013) IL-15 Agonists: The Cancer Cure Cytokine. J Mol Genet Med 7:85. doi:10.4172/1747-0862.1000085

Copyright: © 2013 Wu J. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited


The immune stimulatory cytokine interleukin-15 was recognized as one of the most promising cancer cure drug in a NIH guided review and is currently in clinical trial alone or as an adjuvant for certain types of metastatic solid tumors. IL-15 is an essential survival factor for natural killer (NK), natural killer-like T (NKT), and CD44hi memory CD8 T cells. The bioactivity of IL-15 in vivo is conferred mainly through a trans-presentation mechanism in which IL-15 is presented in complex with the α-subunit of soluble IL-15 receptor (IL-15R) to NK, NKT or T cells rather than directly interacts with membrane-bound IL-15R. With these understandings, recent studies have been focused on generating IL-15 agonists which consist of IL-15 and partial or whole of soluble IL-15R to improve its in vivo bioactivity. This mini review will summarize the key features of IL-15 as a potential cancer treatment cytokine and the most recent development of IL-15 agonists and preclinical studies. Critical milestones to translate the pre-clinical development to in-patients treatment are emphasized.


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