NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,812 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

interleukin-12
(in-ter-LOO-kin ...)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-12 is made mainly by B lymphocytes and macrophages. It causes other immune cells to make cytokines and increases the growth of T lymphocytes. It may also block the growth of new blood vessels. Interleukin-12 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-12 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-12.