Cytokine release syndrome in severe COVID-19
Lessons from arthritis and cell therapy in cancer patients point to therapy for severe disease.
By John B. Moore and Carl H. June
In December 2019, a new strain of coronavirus, severe acute respiratory
This was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020 and has had considerable global economic and health impacts. Although the situation is rapidly evolving, severe disease manifested by fever and pneumonia, leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), has been described in up to 20% of COVID-19 cases. This is reminiscent of cytokine release syndrome (CRS)-induced ARDS and secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) observed in patients with
Given this experience, urgently needed therapeutics based on suppressing CRS, such as tocilizumab, have entered clinical trials to treat COVID-19.