How Does IL-2 Work?

According to the National Cancer Institute, interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that stimulates the growth of certain disease-fighting blood cells in the immune system.

These substances are normally produced by the body. When the treatment is effective, it works very well.

One type of synthetic IL-2 is called Proleukin. This is the drug given in therapeutic doses to increase the efforts of the immune system to fight cancer cells.

IL-2 therapy is not appropriate for all patients with metastatic kidney cancer or melanoma. IL-2 therapy will only be effective for approximately 15 percent of the patients who are eligible for it. Ongoing research efforts around the world and at Roswell Park are working to boost the success rate and also to decrease some of the side effects.

For more information, please call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).

Here is a list of websites that may offer you additional information about IL-2 therapy.

What is Biologic Therapy?

Targeted cancer therapy (NCI)