Thymic peptide hormones: basic properties and clinical applications in cancer

Critical Reviews in Oncology/hematology
R S Schulof

Abstract

The manuscript will provide an in-depth and critical review of the nomenclature, biochemistry, biological properties, and a summary of published and on-going clinical trials with all reported thymic preparations, including both partially purified thymic factors (e.g., thymosin fraction 5, thymostimulin) as well as purified and synthesized thymic peptides (e.g., thymosin alpha 1, thymulin). Particular emphasis will be placed on which thymic peptides should be categorized as true hormones. In addition, the comparative biochemistry and biological activity in animals will be summarized and contrasted for all the currently available thymic factors. The effects, in vitro of thymic factors, on peripheral blood lymphocytes isolated from normal donors and patients with primary immunodeficiency disorders, autoimmune disorders, and neoplastic disorders will also be reviewed. Finally, a detailed critical summary of the clinical trials performed with each of the thymic preparations will be presented with an emphasis on treatment of patients with cancer.

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