Immunopharmacology has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. Although a variety of traditional nonspecific immunosuppressive drug therapies are available for the treatment of autoimmune disease and organ transplantation rejection, with advances in cell biology and monoclonal antibody technology, a highly specific antibody can be engineered to cell surface determinants on immune cells or tumors or to neutralize inflammatory and immune mediators from an immune response. Many of these modalities are still in early phases of study for the treatment of autoimmune disease. In addition to therapies that suppress immune responses, advances in molecular biology have led to new agents and methods to enhance immune responses and correct immune deficits, such as growth factor replacement and cytokine therapies. Finally, gene therapy is a method for the long-term treatment of disorders in which a defective gene leads to disease.
Ballow M, Nelson R. ImmunopharmacologyImmunomodulation and Immunotherapy. JAMA. 1997;278(22):2008-2017. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550220214027