Glossary Term:

Title

interleukins

Phonetic

<b>IN</b>-ter-<b>loo</b>-kins

Description

a group of chemical messengers (called cytokines) that can carry signals between cells. One type of interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been approved by the FDA to treat advanced kidney cancer and metastatic melanoma. It may be used alone or along with other forms of immunotherapy. IL-2 helps immune system cells grow and divide more quickly. Using IL-2 with chemotherapy or with other cytokines (such as interferon-alfa) may make these treatments work better against some cancers. See also chemotherapy, cytokine, immunotherapy, interferon.