Immunologic Research

, Volume 59, Issue 1–3, pp 188–202

Preclinical validation of interleukin 6 as a therapeutic target in multiple myeloma

  • Timothy R. Rosean
  • Van S. Tompkins
  • Guido Tricot
  • Carol J. Holman
  • Alicia K. Olivier
  • Fenghuang Zhan
  • Siegfried Janz


Studies on the biologic and molecular genetic underpinnings of multiple myeloma (MM) have identified the pleiotropic, pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-6 (IL-6), as a factor crucial to the growth, proliferation and survival of myeloma cells. IL-6 is also a potent stimulator of osteoclastogenesis and a sculptor of the tumor microenvironment in the bone marrow of patients with myeloma. This knowledge has engendered considerable interest in targeting IL-6 for therapeutic purposes, using a variety of antibody- and small-molecule-based therapies. However, despite the early recognition of the importance of IL-6 for myeloma and the steady progress in our knowledge of IL-6 in normal and malignant development of plasma cells, additional efforts will be required to translate the promise of IL-6 as a target for new myeloma therapies into significant clinical benefits for patients with myeloma. This review summarizes published research on the role of IL-6 in myeloma development and describes ongoing efforts by the University of Iowa Myeloma Multidisciplinary Oncology Group to develop new approaches to the design and testing of IL-6-targeted therapies and preventions of MM.


IL-6 signaling in neoplastic plasma cells Myeloma stem cells and minimal residual disease Small-drug- and monoclonal antibody-based inhibitors Genetically engineered mouse models of human myeloma 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy R. Rosean
    • 1
  • Van S. Tompkins
    • 2
  • Guido Tricot
    • 3
    • 4
  • Carol J. Holman
    • 2
    • 4
  • Alicia K. Olivier
    • 2
  • Fenghuang Zhan
    • 3
    • 4
  • Siegfried Janz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology, Carver College of MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Carver College of MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  4. 4.Myeloma Multidisciplinary Oncology Group, Holden Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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