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Helen F. Graham Cancer Center
& Research Institute

IL-2 Treatment for Melanoma and Kidney Cancer

The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute is one of only a handful of centers in the country offering intravenous IL-2 as a treatment for metastatic melanoma and kidney cancer. IL-2 is a man-made version of a protein produced by the body to fight off infection. The protein, called Interleukin 2, boosts the production of several immune-system cells, including ones that attack and kill other cells. High doses of IL-2 are given intravenously to help boost the body’s immune system and to potentially set the process in motion to kill cancer cells.

As a candidate for IL-2 therapy, you will be assisted by a nurse navigator—an oncology-certified or master’s prepared oncology nurse—who will be on hand to answer your questions throughout your entire treatment. Your nurse navigator will work closely with the members of your treatment team to help you get the care and support services you need, both in and out of the hospital. This includes help with finding overnight accommodations for family members who may accompany you from out-of-town.

Together with your referring physician, the specialists who are part of your IL-2 treatment team will determine the most appropriate and effective plan of treatment for your cancer. Your IL-2 treatment team may include the following members:

  • A medical oncologist who is experienced in the care and management of patients undergoing high-dose IL-2 therapy.
  • A pharmacist who will assist in determining the appropriate timing and dosages for administering IL-2.
  • Nurses who are specially trained to monitor and take care of patients undergoing IL-2 therapy.
  • A nurse navigator and a social worker who will provide information about the treatment program and assist you in finding the health care support services you may need.

The IL-2 dosages you receive will be calculated and administered eight hours apart for a maximum of 14 doses over five days. Your treatment will take place in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Christiana Hospital, where you will remain and be carefully monitored throughout the process. When the treatment is finished, you will return to the care of your referring physician.

Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
4701 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19713 directions