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November 27, 1987

ImmunopharmacologyImmunomodulation and Immunotherapy

JAMA. 1987;258(20):3005-3010. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400200211028

IMMUNOPHARMACOLOGY involves the study of the regulation of the immune system and of methods that selectively modify immune function in the treatment of human diseases. The earliest origins of immunotherapy lie in the development of the vaccines that today are the mainstay of specific immunoprophylaxis for cholera, poliomyelitis, smallpox, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, pertussis, influenza, and mumps. The future will see effective vaccines for hepatitis, gonorrhea, cytomegalovirus, and herpesvirus. Novel approaches, using modified antigens, may lead to future vaccines yielding specific tolerance for transplantation alloantigens and allergens or yielding resistance to certain cancers and even to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

With the definition of the immunoglobulins, the administration of γ-globulins followed naturally in the 1950s for treatment of agammaglobulinemia, for hepatitis prophylaxis, and for immunization with live attenuated virus vaccines. The elucidation of the severe combined immunodeficiency disease brought bone marrow transplantation, now a successful and currently accepted treatment for