Interleukins (IL) are cytokines produced by T-cells. The serum levels of some interleukins correlate with the outcome of patients with myeloma. Blockage of some interleukin effects may be an effective therapeutic target.


Interleukins associated with proliferation of myeloma cells:

(1) interleukin-6 (IL-6)

(2) interleukin-16 (IL-16)


Interleukins associated with reduced proliferation of myeloma cells:

(1) interleukin-27

(2) interleukin-2


Interleukins elevated in the serum of patients with multiple myeloma (unclear role):

(1) interleukin-17A


Interleukins affecting bone formation:

(1) interleukin-1beta (osteoclast activation factors)

(2) tumor necrosis factor-beta (osteoclast activation factors)

(3) interleukin-3 (inhibitor osteoblastic activity)


IL-6 is produced by monocytes and fibroblasts. IL-6 levels reflect disease activity and can help to differentiate MGUS, SMM and MM.


IL-2 is produced by macrophages and activated T-cells. IL-2 activated T cells are cytotoxic for myeloma cells, while IL-2 may affect B cell proliferation. The higher the IL-2 level at the time of diagnosis in patients with myeloma, the longer the survival.


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