Biological response modifiers and infectious diseases: Actual and potential therapeutic agents
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Biological response modifiers (BRMs) are agents which can modify the immune response to cancer or invasion of the organism by infectious agents. An explosive appearance of new BRMs has resulted from the development of recombinant gene technology and the availability of monoclonal antibodies. Colony-stimulating factors first became available for the prevention of neutropenia but may also have a role in the treatment of infections. Interleukin-1 is being tested as a modular of hematopoiesis and may be useful as a helper factor for T- and B-cell function. Immunoglobulins are being used against viral and bacterial infections while interferons can prevent viral upper respiratory infections and suppress or irradicate some viral hepatitides. Other BRMs which show promise include chemical agents and traditional herbal medicines.
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