Today, most people are thrilled about the checkpoint inhibitors in the field of cancer immunotherapy. In 1986, the IFN (recombinant interferon) alpha was the initial immunotherapy that got sanctioned by the FDA for cancer treatment. Also, cytokines, for instance, the IFN-𝛼, can be considered small proteins for cell communications and are essential for an immune response. All these kinds of cytokines are available in the environment, and it updates the immune cell about the way to behave.
The types of the cytokines
Usually, you will come across the two types of cytokines. They are proinflammatory and wound healing. The second one gets generated during an injury, and it alerts the immune cells to enable the repair and prevent it from more damage. A few instances of these cytokines are IL-4 and IL-10. Also, the proinflammatory cytokines get generated at the time of an infection. It alerts the immune cells to destroy all the infected cells. Some examples of this kind of cytokine are IL-2 and the IFN-𝛼. At times, tumors leverage such a communication process and generate the wound healing cytokines for averting the immune cells from destroying the tumor. In order to fight the tumor growth, the clinicians and the researchers usually treat the patients using proinflammatory cytokines for enhancing the tumor-killing.
The approval of the FDA
Currently, the two recombinant cytokines are FDA generated for cancer treatment, including the IL-2 and IFN-𝛼. The recombinant IFN-𝛼 is considered the initial treatment for people suffering from stage 3 skin cancer. It functions by communicating with both the adaptive and innate immune cells for developing a strong anti-tumor response. That aside, the second FDA-sanctioned recombinant cytokine is called the IL-2, that works especially on the two particular types of the immune cells, namely the natural killer and the T cells. Such immune cells are usually accountable for directly killing the tumor cells. But all these recombinant cytokines lead to side effects. The IFNs are endogenously generated as a response to viral infection and are accountable for the flu-like, achy symptoms.
Also, the growth-stimulating factors result in the immune maturation and proliferation. Also, the CSF and the GM are considered the most researched cytokines and have been sanctioned by the FDA for reducing the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Additionally, this treatment has been enhancing immune cell recovery and is bringing down the scope of infection for cancer patients. Additionally, GM-CSF is getting studied for a direct anti-tumor impact. It can stimulate the expression of various tumor recognition proteins, allowing the immune cells to recognize and remove cancer.
Also, the standard 𝛾 family chain of the cytokines usually activates the adaptive immune response. Its function is very similar to the mechanism to the IL-2. But it comes with less toxicity and has minimal severe side effects.
Last but not least, the recombinant cytokines come with much promise. Irrespective of the fact, that it was the initial strategy in the department of cancer immunotherapy, there is still scope to explore its potential. In fact, today, there is much to learn from the cytokines and their anti-tumor efficiency. One can only anticipate to see more discoveries in this field. To know more about this and other cutting-edge medicines, you can redirect to Shenandoah Biotech.