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IL-8 (CXCL-8) is a chemoattractant factor for myeloid leukocytes, that is produced in large quantities by many solid tumors. Levels of IL-8, which can act upon a variety of immune and nonimmune cells, can tell us a lot about tumors, including their size (positive association) and how likely they are to respond to immunotherapy (negative association). This is because the IL-8 produced by tumors can promote angiogenesis, recruit immunosuppressive cells like neutrophils and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and stimulate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, which is a precursor to metastasis. In a pooled analysis of several clinical trials in kidney cancer, melanoma, and lung cancer, it was found that patients with higher baseline concentrations of IL-8 in the blood experienced worse outcomes and lower overall survival after being treated with immunotherapy. Currently, the field that relates IL-8 to immunotherapy is leading to numerous and promising clinical trials that combine the inhibition of IL-8 with existing immunotherapeutic therapies. For this reason, multiple constructs based on IL-8 agonists are being developed clinically by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.


Manuela Gonzalez-Aparicio, Carlos Alfaro. Significance of the IL-8 pathway for immunotherapy. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 2020 Oct 02;16(10):2312-2317

PMID: 31860375

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