, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 221-229

Clinical studies in patients with Castleman’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis in Japan

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Abstract

Interleukin (IL)-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine with a wide range of biological activities and regulates immunological reactions, inflammatory responses, and hematopoiesis. Overproduction of IL-6 has been shown to be pathologically involved in some inflammatory diseases, such as Castleman’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical studies have been conducted to investigate a role of IL-6 and the therapeutic potential of anti-IL-6 therapy for these diseases using humanized anti-IL-6 receptor antibody (tocilizumab; currently known as MRA). Overall, tocilizumab was well-tolerated, and improvements of signs and symptoms were observed, confirming the pathological role of IL-6 and suggesting that the blockade of IL-6 could become a new and important treatment option in these refractory diseases.