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Aldesleukin

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Information about Aldesleukin

Aldesleukin is a recombinant form of human interleukin-2, a cytokine that stimulates the proliferation and maturation of T cells, which is used in immune therapy of renal cell cancer and malignant melanoma

Liver safety of Aldesleukin

When given in high doses, interleukin-2 regularly causes mild-to-moderate elevations in serum enzymes and bilirubin, but it rarely results in clinically significant acute liver injury

Mechanism of action of Aldesleukin

  Aldesleukin (al" des loo' kin) is recombinant form of interleukin-2 (IL-2), a human cytokine produced by macrophages and lymphocytes that induces the proliferation and maturation of T cells.  Also known as T cell growth factor, interleukin-2 is a critical cytokine in the adaptive immune process and interacts with specific T cell receptors to activate intracytoplasmic pathways that lead to proliferation and differentiation of immature T lymphoblasts into mature and reactive T cells that play an important role in immune responses to foreign proteins, viruses and bacteria and tumor cells.  A recombinant form of interleukin-2 has been developed and shown to be an immune modulator and to have antitumor activity against several malignancies, but most convincingly renal cell cancer and malignant melanoma

FDA approval information for Aldesleukin

Aldesleukin was approved for use in the United States for malignant melanoma in 1992 and indications were subsequently broadened and now include metastatic renal cell carcinoma and metastatic malignant melanoma

Dosage and administration for Aldesleukin

Aldesleukin is available as lyophilized powder in vials of 22 million IU under the brand name Proleukin.  The typical dose is 600,000 IU/kg intravenously every 8 hours for a maximum of 14 doses, which can be repeated after a 9 day rest depending upon tolerance.  side effects are common, particularly with high dose interleukin-2 which should be administered in a hospital setting under the supervision of physicians experienced in the use of anticancer agents. 

Side effects of Aldesleukin

Common side effects include fatigue, fever, chills, nausea, diarrhea, and capillary leak syndrome which can cause peripheral edema, hypotension, renal insufficiency and pulmonary edema.  Less common, but potentially severe adverse reactions include shock, anaphylaxis, severe infections, autoimmune conditions and neurologic complications including sleepiness, stupor and coma.

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