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Promising new drug target for inflammatory lung diseases

New Rochelle, NY, September 6, 2012The naturally occurring cytokine interleukin-18, or IL-18, plays a key role in inflammation and has been implicated in serious inflammatory diseases for which the prognosis is poor and there are currently limited treatment options. Therapies targeting IL-18 could prove effective against inflammatory diseases of the lung including bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as described in a review article published in Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research (, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers ( The article is available free online at the Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research website. (

Tomotaka Kawayama and coauthors from Kurume University School of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan, University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, and Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD, review the growing evidence to support the important role IL-18 has in inflammation and how it may help to initiate and worsen inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, dermatitis and inflammatory diseases of the bowel and immune system. In the article "Interleukin-18 in Pulmonary Inflammatory Diseases" ( they describe the potential benefits of therapies aimed at blocking the activity of IL-18 to treat inflammatory lung disease.

"This review provides an interesting and thorough summary of the biology and potential application of IL-18 in the setting of inflammatory pulmonary disease," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Thomas A. Hamilton, PhD, Chairman, Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Contact: Cathia Falvey
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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