Xin He, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow University of Wisconsin-Madison Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a powerful product of our immune system that acts like a hormone circulating in the body, stimulating cells everywhere. IL-6 plays a significant role in the development of cancer. Thus, blockade of IL-6 offers promise in treating cancer and also in reducing side effects of cancer treatments. Because IL-6 plays such an important role in cancer, we need to better understand how the body controls its expression. Right now, the way that the IL-6 gene works is not clear, especially a part of the gene called a long non-coding RNA (or lncRNA). The lncRNA acts like a gas peddle for an automobile. When the lncRNA is active the IL-6 gene becomes active; more lncRNA means more IL-6. Dr. He aims to better understand how the lncRNA within the IL-6 gene controls the expression of IL-6. Dr. He will also study how subtle variations between people in the genetic code of the lncRNA can have big effects on how it works to control expression of IL-6. If he can understand how the lncRNA and its variations affect control of IL-6, this information will help in developing new treatments for cancer where IL-6 is a contributing factor or causes harmful side effects. This type of knowledge will enable the design of treatments that are tailored to the individual person according to their unique genetic code. This is important because the most effective treatment may vary for people according to their individual genetic code. Projects and Grants Immunogenetics, cancer and IL-6 gene regulation by a long non-coding RNA University of Wisconsin-Madison | All Cancers | 2022 | Bruce Klein, M.D.