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Using Proleukin for the Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins when abnormal pigment cells (cells that color the skin, also called melanocytes) begin to divide without control or order. As the cells grow and divide, they crowd out normal, healthy cells and form a mass of cancerous tissue (a tumor) on the surface of the skin.
 
There are several different types of skin cancer. However, melanoma is considered the most dangerous. This is because it can be an aggressive form of skin cancer that is more likely to spread to other areas of the body.
 
It is unknown why one person will get melanoma and another person will not. Research has shown that sun exposure, especially excessive exposure that leads to blistering sunburns, is an important and avoidable risk factor. Other things that may increase the risk for developing melanoma include but are not limited to:
 
  • Having certain types of moles, or several moles
  • Frequent exposure to strong sunlight or artificial sun (such as a tanning device)
  • A family history of melanoma
  • Having fair skin, blue eyes, and red or blond hair.
 
There are several treatment options for melanoma, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery (see Melanoma Treatment). Proleukin is a type of immunotherapy. The medication may be used before or after other treatments have been tried.
 
Proleukin is not effective for everyone. However, in clinical trials 6 percent of people, on average, had no evidence of melanoma for 3 to over 122 months after treatment with Proleukin.
 

How Does It Work?

Proleukin is in a class of medications known as biological response modifiers. It is a synthetic version of a natural human protein known as interleukin-2. Natural interleukin-2 stimulates T-cell production by the body. T-cells are a type of white blood cell made by the immune system. They attack harmful substances in the body, such as cancer cells. By increasing T-cell production, Proleukin may help the body fight off cancer cells.
 
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Proleukin Medication Information

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