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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


interleukin-6  listen  (in-ter-LOO-kin...)

  One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-6 is made mainly by some T lymphocytes. It causes B lymphocytes to make more antibodies and also causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. Interleukin-6 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-6 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-6.