How can immunosuppressants be used for immunotherapy?

Immunomodulators adjust the immune system as part of immunotherapy by subduing or magnifying the immune response through intervention. Immunosuppressants are medications which work by reducing the inflammatory response in several conditions including cancers as well as inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.1,2 Compared to other forms of immunotherapy, the mechanism of immunosuppressants are not as well understood as most drugs that are effective work through a series of signaling networks, including various interleukin signaling cascades and the JAK/STAT pathway. It is also common for patients with irritable bowel syndrome to take corticosteroids in conjunction with the slow acting immunosuppressants to manage their symptoms during the early phase of treatment. For more information and an expanded view on immunotherapy please visit our resource center here.

1. B. Bressler et al, "Site-Specific Immunomodulator: A Novel Treatment for Crohn's Disease," Gastroenterol Res Pract 231243: 1-7, 2015.
2. R. Mir et al, "Immunosuppressive Agents and Their Role in Managing Immunotherapy Toxicities in Melanoma," Clin Skin Cancer 2(2): 18-23, 2017.