Tumor necrosis factor is a survival and proliferation factor for human myeloma cells

Eur Cytokine Netw. 1999 Mar;10(1):65-70.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a major survival factor for malignant plasma cells. In patients with multiple myeloma (MM), cell lines whose survival and proliferation are dependent upon addition of exogenous IL-6 have been obtained. We show here that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is also a survival factor for myeloma cell lines, although less potent than IL-6. The survival activity of TNF-alpha is not affected by anti-IL-6 or anti-gp130 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). TNF-alpha also induces myeloma cells in the cell cycle and promotes the long-term growth of malignant plasma cell lines. As TNF-alpha is produced in patients with MM and associated with a poor prognosis, these results suggest that anti-TNF-alpha therapies could be useful in this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Interleukin-6
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha