One of the most impressive treatments in cancer therapy has been the use of recombinant Interleukin-2. It’s a natural molecule found in mammals’ immune systems and is usually referred to as human recombinant IL-2. Scientists have found that IL-2 derives from a cytokine, one of the most abundant substances produced in the human immune system. Lymph cells and nodes are the main production locations for such molecules and are the first to fight an intruding infection to the human body.
IL-2 is also responsible for regulating the number of white blood cells close to a normal level. Without the presence of such a molecule, the overproduction of white blood cells would lead to renal failure and death. Independent laboratories worldwide have isolated the IL-2 and even produce a recombinant one based on the mRNA sequence found in the lymph cells nucleus. Scientists have created the pure form of IL-2 recombinant protein and prepared a safe drug against multiplying cancer cells. That is the main immunotherapy for first-line cancer treatment today and with many promising effects shortly.
What Types of Cancer Can IL-2 Recombinant Treat?
Even though clinical trials are still running, IL-2 recombinant immunotherapy has been approved by FDA for two major malignancies: renal cell carcinoma and metastatic melanoma. The first has to do with the acute malignancy of kidneys in the first stage and is not responding to chemotherapy. The patient cannot receive other types of drugs due to hypersensitivity or allergies. Renal cell carcinoma is one of the most frequent in-situ malignancies of the kidneys and affects middle-aged people from various parts of the world.
The other indication for IL-2 immunotherapy has been metastatic melanoma. It’s about a tumor developed in the skin layers and is one of the most aggressive cancers a person could have. Melanoma is one of the rarest cancers of older people, and once it’s diagnosed, there is a poor prognosis for people suffering. The injections of IL-2 immunotherapy occur every two weeks and are all intravenous to ensure that the molecule reaches every single cancer cell. Sometimes IL-2 could be administered to slow down the cancer cells’ expansion to healthy tissues (often with great results).
Other Malignancies Where the IL-2 Recombinant Protein Could Be of Assistance
Recent studies have shown a mediocre result of IL-2 recombinant protein in breast cancer, cutaneous lymphoma, and neuroblastoma treatment. It seems like the recombinant agent binds firmly with the IL-2 receptors on the cancer cells and shortens their life. Every cancer cell has DNA showing the duration of its life through the telomeres. IL-2 receptors are there to give the signal of apoptosis (cell death) to the cancer cells. That is the main benefit of IL-2 intravenous immunotherapy that makes people increase their estimated life expectancy by many months or even years in some cases. However, the use of IL-2 protein in the malignancies of the immune system itself (like the lymphomas) has only shown poor results. That’s why IL-2 immunotherapy is still in the experimental and trialist phase in more cancers to ensure no significant side effects on people receiving it regularly.
Are There Any Toxicity Issues With IL-2 Recombinant Cancer Treatment?
Generally, administering IL-2 in the required and designated doses (approved by the FDA) is not causing any significant side effects to patients. However, it’s necessary to know the toxicity issues that have appeared to a certain segment of patients and ensure the doses start from lower levels to test your tolerance.
IL-2 recombinant protein is included in immunotherapy administered intravenously and has a tine therapeutic window. In other words, physicians and oncologists should calculate the exact dose according to the severity of the situation, the cancer grading, and the body type and gender of the patients. Some patients have mentioned experiencing a flu-like syndrome that includes fever, headache, muscle pain, and extreme fatigue in most parts of their body.
Other signs of IL-2 toxicity include low blood pressure, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and confusion. The latter is caused due to the activity of IL-2 in the central nervous system. As we all know, IL-2 can pass through the blood-brain barrier and connect to the receptors found in the nerve cells. That makes it responsible for the dizziness and loss of consciousness in some cancer patients.
IL-2 In The Pharmaceutical Market
Most major pharmaceutical companies that maintain a deep oncology pipeline have progressed with IL-2 recombinant protein immunotherapy throughout the past years. Today patients have access to four different products that ultimately have the same substance in different pharmacokinetic profiles and concentrations. It’s easy to find many of these drugs in all countries worldwide, and most health insurance carriers cover the administration of IL-2 to eligible cancer patients.
However, lately, we have seen a great abolishment of IL-2 from the mainstream treatment of first-line melanoma due to the introduction of new therapeutic agents for these diseases. Patients suffering from acute melanoma (the fastest growing cancer in the human body) only receive IL-2 protein when all the other therapies fail or even when they have severe side effects that make them opt for immunotherapy.
The idea of stimulating your immune system to produce more lymphatic cells and IL-2 to fight against cancer cells is as old as cell biology discoveries. However, only lately have humans managed to decipher the secrets of IL-2, a powerful molecule that is present in many activities and reactions of the human immune system. The recombinant factor has only been available to scientists after gene therapy has been made mainstream for eligible patients in the United States. When suffering from proliferating cancers like the ones mentioned before, your oncologist is the one responsible for giving you the right treatment. IL-2 recombinant protein remains one of the main weapons in the fight against cancer that seems more prevalent than ever before in human society.
If you want to seek more information about IL-2 and the derivative molecules, visit our site at https://www.shenandoah-bt.com/human-il-2.html or come to our address at Shenandoah Biotech, 103 Steam Whistle Drive Warminster PA 18947, 215-672-7550.