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Being Alive

Genetic Institute's IL-12


Being Alive 1994 Feb 5: 10

IL-12 is also known as natural killer cell stimulatory factor and cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor. Results from animal studies have demonstrated that IL-12 has both anti-tumor and anti-infective activities. IL-12's immunomodulatory effects are highlighted in a paper published in the December 10, 1993, issue of Science by a team of NIH researchers.

IL-12 appears to function by directly and specifically stimulating the proliferating of protein-activated T-cells, thus restoring the immune function of the cells. In addition, IL-12 seems to augment T-cell function, including natural killer cell activity and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-12 may have therapeutic potential to enhance or maintain immune function in people with HIV infection.

Genetics Institute Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has entered into a patent cross-licensing and collaboration agreement on IL-12 with Hoffmann-La Roche. The two companies will proceed independently in developing IL-12 for clinical use. Genetics Institute plans to initiate clinical studies for treating renal cancer in early 1994, and these are likely to be expanded to include HIV.


Information in this article was accurate in February 5, 1994. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.