International Journal of Hematology

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 246–249 | Cite as

Humanized Anti-Interleukin 6 Receptor Antibody Induced Long-term Remission in a Patient with Life-Threatening Refractory Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

  • Akane Kunitomi
  • Yoshiteru Konaka
  • Masato Yagita
  • Kiyoshi Takatsuki
  • Norihiro Nishimoto
  • Tadamitsu Kishimoto
Case Report


Refractory autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is associated with considerable rates of mortality. Interleukin 6 (IL-6) has been reported to play a role in the pathogenesis of AIHA. This report describes a patient with AIHA who was successfully treated with a humanized anti-human IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) monoclonal antibody (MoAb). He had experienced life-threatening AIHA and had received conventional therapy with corticosteroids, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporin A, melphalan, plasma exchange, and irradiation to his spleen. However, the patient’s symptoms and laboratory data did not show a sufficient improvement. Because his serum IL-6 level was elevated, we attempted to block IL-6 signaling by using a humanized anti-IL-6R MoAb, MRA.With 8 mg/kg of MRA administration every 2 weeks, the serum hemoglobin level gradually increased and normalized within 4 months. After 2 years of MRA treatment, the disease activity was well controlled without adverse reactions. Anti-IL-6R MoAb can be a novel and effective therapeutic agent for AIHA.

Key words

AIHA IL-6 Humanized anti-IL-6 receptor antibody 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Hematology 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akane Kunitomi
    • 1
  • Yoshiteru Konaka
    • 1
  • Masato Yagita
    • 1
  • Kiyoshi Takatsuki
    • 1
  • Norihiro Nishimoto
    • 2
  • Tadamitsu Kishimoto
    • 2
  1. 1.aDivision of Hematology and Rheumatology Department of Medicine, Kitano HospitalThe Tazuke Kofukai Medical Research InstituteKita-ku, OsakaJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Immune RegulationGraduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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