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Biotherapy for cancer

Topic Overview

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy helps treat cancer by supporting the body's immune system. This type of treatment can restore, boost, or redirect the immune system.

What types of immunotherapy are used?

The types include:

  • Medicines, such as checkpoint inhibitors, cytokines, and monoclonal antibodies.
  • Immune cell therapies, such as CAR T-cell therapy.
  • Treatment vaccines, such as Sipuleucel-T.

What are some questions to ask about immunotherapy for cancer?

Some types of immunotherapy have been studied or used longer than other types. You may want to ask your doctor:

  • How long has this type of immunotherapy been used to treat cancer like mine?
  • How will this treatment help me?
  • What happens during the treatment? How long will it take? How often and where do I get it?
  • What are the side effects?

Credits

Current as of: August 22, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

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