Tumor Immunotherapy

The Tumor Immunotherapy Program at Columbia has the only comprehensive IL-2 Unit for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and kidney cancer in the New York City area.

Unique in the New York metropolitan region, this program draws upon collaborative efforts of laboratory and research staff to develop novel treatments using the body’s natural defenses to treat patients with cancer.

Tumor immunotherapy uses elements of the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Specific approaches include tumor vaccines, IL-2, and interferon, and combinations of these.

IL-2 is a therapy that attempts to harness the immune system to recognize that melanoma is foreign and attacks it. It is one of only a few drugs shown to have long term durable response or cure in melanoma.