Category: 

What Is Aldesleukin?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

There are many types of cancer that can occur in the body. Although many types of cancer respond to general treatments, such as chemotherapy, sometimes specific cancers require specific treatments. Aldesleukin is one of these kinds of treatments. It is a form of immunotherapy that is primarily used to treat patients who have renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer.

Immunotherapy utilizes many chemicals that are naturally produced in small quantities. Synthetic duplicates are made of these chemicals and are given to patients to help fight diseases. Aldesleukin is one of these chemicals that are produced by the body. It is a protein that is classified with interleukins. These chemicals use T-lymphocytes, which are types of white blood cells, to help give the immune system a boost.

Although it is still not entirely known exactly how aldesleukin works, research has shown that it acts as a stimulant for T-lymphocytes. It can stimulate white blood cells to react to an invasion of cancer cells. After they have been triggered into action, these white blood cells then work to destroy the cancer cells.

Aldesleukin is available by injection, either under the skin or intravenously. The goal of this medication is to increase the amount of this protein in the body. Advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma treatment often utilizes this medication. Additionally, many patients who have not had success with another metastatic melanoma treatment might receive this medication.

Ad

The length and dosage varies. Doctors must consider a patient’s overall health. They must also consider the patient’s type of cancer and whether any other treatments have been unsuccessful.

Longer treatment times might be necessary for more advanced stages or different cancers. Most patients receive aldesleukin injections in a clinic or hospital, but long-term treatments might permit a patient to receive injections at home. If injections are allowed at home, the medicine should be stored in the refrigerator.

Common side effects of aldesleukin include flu-like symptoms, red or darkened skin and nausea or vomiting. Side effects might not occur for every patient or in the same severity. They generally subside after all treatments have finished. If the side effects become bothersome, there are medications that can be prescribed to help reduce the side effects' severity.

Less-common side effects include dizziness, vision changes, confusion and jaundice. If these side effects are experienced, one should notify a doctor as soon as possible. Immediate medical attention is necessary for an allergic reaction, chest pain, breathing problems or unusual bleeding.

Ad

Recommended

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email