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September 12, 1986

Antitumor Strategies Based on Enhancing —and Blocking—Effects of Interleukin-2

JAMA. 1986;256(10):1241. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380100015002

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"I CAN SEE lymphokines on the cover of Time," deadpanned a speaker at an international workshop on the proteins a few years ago (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1983;249:166-171). His tongue-in-cheek prophecy was not far off. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) made its newsmagazine debut last fall—but on the cover of Fortune. On the front of the Nov 25, 1985, issue of the magazine were two vials of the drug positioned below the bold head: CANCER BREAKTHROUGH.

In Fortune's wake came the more cautiously worded Newsweek cover of Dec 16, featuring Stephen Rosenberg, MD, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute and the title "Cancer and Interleukin-2: The Search for a Cure." In accompanying articles, both magazines made much of Rosenberg's use of the lymphokine in treating 25 end-stage cancer patients. The small study had been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (1985;313:1485-1492).

While the rest of the world may have learned about