NCI Drug Dictionary

The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

heterodimeric interleukin-15
A fusion protein complex composed of heterodimeric IL-15 (hetIL-15), which consists of a synthetic form of the endogenous cytokine interleukin-15 chain (IL-15) complexed to the soluble IL-15 binding protein IL-15 receptor alpha chain (IL-15Ra) (IL15:sIL-15Ra), with potential immunomodulatory, anti-infective and antineoplastic activities. Upon administration, hetIL-15 binds to the IL-2/IL-15 receptor beta-common gamma chain (IL-2Rbeta-gamma) receptor on natural killer (NK) and T-lymphocytes, which activates and increases the levels of NK cells and CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. The T cells enhance the secretion of the cytokine interferon-gamma (IFN-g), which further potentiates the immune response against tumor cells. Altogether, this enhances tumor cell killing and decreases tumor cell proliferation. By coupling IL-15 to IL15Ra, this agent has an improved pharmacokinetic profile, shows an increased ability to bind IL-2Rbeta-gamma, and shows increased immunostimulatory activity as compared to IL-15 alone. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)

Abbreviation:heterodimeric IL-15