Immunotherapeutic options for inflammation in trauma

Joshua M. Tobin, Brian J. Gavitt, Vanessa Nomellini, Geoffrey P. Dobson, Hayley L. Letson, Stacy A. Shackelford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Surgical management of trauma in the last 20 years has evolved in parallel with the military's experience in the current conflicts. Therapies such as widespread tourniquet use, empiric administration of fresh frozen plasma, and airborne intensive care units had been viewed skeptically but are now common practice. There is an opportunity to expand the envelope of care even further through similarly innovative approaches and varied avenues of research. RESULTS: As the molecular biology of trauma is elucidated, research methodologies must also be developed to capitalize on innovative approaches to resuscitation. Blood component therapy and control of bleeding remain as the fundamental concepts in trauma care. The inflammo-immune response to injury, however, plays an increasingly recognized role in recovery of organ function. Perhaps the inflammatory cascade of trauma can be manipulated to extend the treatment envelope of at risk trauma patients.In trauma, the additional challenge of delivering effective treatment, often required very early after injury, necessitates the development of treatments to be implemented on the front lines of trauma care that are cost-effective, portable, and environmentally stable. Future conflicts may not offer ready access to high-level surgical care; therefore, resuscitative therapies will be needed for wounded service members because they are evacuated to the surgeon. Manipulation of the inflammatory response to trauma may offer a solution. As our understanding of the immune response continues to develop, the potential for improved outcomes for the wounded expands. CONCLUSION: A review of basic concepts in immunology is necessary to appreciate any potential impact of immunotherapeutic approaches to trauma and inflammation. An overview of current options will focus on outcome benefits of available therapies and suggest possible areas for future investigation. Quantitative approaches will leverage basic science to identify high-yield strategies to improve care of the injured combatant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S77-S82
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • combat casualty care
  • Immunology
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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