Denileukin Diftitox

Brand Names

Ontak® (There may be other brand names for this medication)

How is Denileukin Administered?

Your medicine will be given by given intravenously (IV), which means it will be given through a tube placed in a vein, usually in your arm, wrist, hand or chest.

What Is it Used For?

This drug is used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

How Does it Work?

Denileukin is a type of targeted therapy rather than a traditional chemotherapy drug. Traditional chemotherapy drugs identify cancer cells by their rapid rate of reproduction, and then attack those cells. Unfortunately, there are many cells in our bodies that normally reproduce rapidly and these cells are also affected by traditional chemotherapy drugs, resulting in many side unpleasant effects. Denileukin is a biological response mediator.

Denileukin is a combination of a toxin from diphtheria and interleukin-2 (IL- 2) and is designed to work differently. Its delivers the toxin to specific (targeted) cells. The protein attaches to the cell, and the cells die from the diphtheria. Denileukin only works on a specific type of lymphoma cell.

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