IVIG in autoimmunity and cancer - Efficacy versus safety

Yaniv Sherer, Yair Levy, Yehuda Shoenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is an accepted treatment for certain immunodeficiency states, but also for some autoimmune diseases. In other autoimmune conditions (i.e., systemic lupus erythematosus), it is still empirical although very efficacious. Based mainly on animal studies, IVIG has been shown to exert different antitumour mechanisms that result in metastases suppression. This effective therapy is associated with frequent occurrence of either immediate, delayed or late adverse effects, most of which are mild and transient. Efforts are taken in order to minimise these adverse effects both by pharmaceutical companies that attempt to decrease the risk of infectious agents transmission, and by physicians who monitor closely patients and choose the appropriate mode of administration of IVIG with respect to dose, duration of treatment and preparations used. Overall, IVIG is used in severe medical conditions and it is quite safe. Future research would help to further minimise its associated risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2002


  • adverse effect
  • autoimmune disease
  • cancer
  • intravenous immunoglobulin


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