The above story illustrates the translation of basic scientific discoveries to the clinic. In vitro and preclinical in vivo experimentation suggests that modulation of the B7:CD28 pathway will result in either amplification or suppression of the immune response. Considering the frequency with which diseases characterized by either inadequate or dysregulated immune function present to the practicing hematologist or oncologist, it is not difficult to envisage clinical applications for reagents that modulate this pathway. However, we still have much to learn about the function and clinical potential of this and other potentially redundant costimulatory pathways and therefore we suspect that this story will become considerably more complex over the next few years.

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