a variety of naturally occurring proteins that play a major role in the body's blood-forming and immune systems. Interleukin lymphokines secreted by T-cells including -interferon and interleukin 1, interleukin 2 which are being tested as immunotherapeutic agents. Interleukin 1 produced by macrophages activates helper T cells inducing them to produce interleukin 2. Interleukin 3 stimulates the production of blood cells in the bone marrow.
A group of natural, hormone-like substances that are made in the body by lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Interleukins may increase the activity of cells in the immune system that normally recognize and destroy cancer cells.
(in-ter-LOO-kins) -- Biological response modifiers (substances that can improve the body's natural response to disease) that help the immune system fight infection and cancer. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.