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What research is being done regarding skin cancer?

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is the only comprehensive high-dose Interleukin-2 (IL-2) Unit in New York City. Comprised of a dedicated team of health-care professionals, the unit routinely uses high-dose IL-2 for the treatment of patients with advanced malignant melanoma and kidney cancer. IL-2 is a natural protein produced in the body that stimulates certain types of white blood cells, called T-lymphocytes or T- cells. T-cells produce IL-2 to help them grow, divide, and develop into tumor-killing cells. Researchers have found a way to produce IL-2 in the laboratory, and when given intravenously in high doses, it can help stimulate the immune system to help fight cancer cells. High dose IL-2 has resulted in disease regression in 15 to 20 percent of patients with metastatic melanoma. About 6 to 8 percent of patients experience complete regression of all disease.

In addition, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is the only site in the United States authorized to conduct clinical trials using a vaccine containing co-stimulatory viruses to fight melanoma. Specifically, the research focuses on a strain of virus used to prevent smallpox that is injected with co-stimulatory molecules and chemokine genes, which play a critical role in many normal and pathophysiological processes. The molecules help stimulate T-cells, which stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. Unlike other vaccine trials, our clinicians are administering the vaccine at the site of tumor growth, which directly treats the tumor and enhances immune responses. Studies have shown dramatic responses in some patients. Doctors believe the vaccine augmen

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.