interleukin-2

Definition / meaning of interleukin-2

One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-2 is made by a type of T lymphocyte. It increases the growth and activity of other T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, and affects the development of the immune system. Aldesleukin (interleukin-2 made in the laboratory) is being used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-2 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-2.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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