Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses the power of a person's own immune system to prevent, control, and eliminate cancer.
Immunotherapy treatment can:
Immunotherapy is a type of biotherapy, also known as biologic therapy because they fight disease with substances derived from living organisms.
Immunotherapy for cancer prevention, management, or treatment can be used in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapies to improve their efficacy and enable better patient outcomes.
Immunotherapy treatment is of several types. These include the following:
Checkpoints regulate the immune system and prevent overly aggressive immune responses. Checkpoint inhibitors are medications that inhibit immune checkpoints. They allow immune cells to respond more strongly to cancer by blocking them.
This type of immuno-oncology boosts T cells' natural ability to fight cancer. T cells are immune cells that help the body fight infection. Immune cells are extracted from the tumor, and those most active against cancer are chosen or modified in the lab to better attack cancer cells. They are reintroduced into the body intravenously.
They are immune system proteins that are specially made in the lab to bind to specific targets on cancer cells. Some monoclonal antibodies label cancer cells so that the immune system can detect and destroy them.
They activate the immune system, causing it to recognize and destroy the antigen or related substances. They fight cancer by increasing the immune system's response to cancer cells. Treatment vaccines differ from disease prevention vaccines.
These modulators boost the body's immune response to cancer. Some of these agents affect specific parts of the immune system, while others have a broader impact on the immune system.
Immunotherapy treatment employs specific components of a person's immune system to combat the disease. This can be accomplished in two ways:
The type and stage of cancer, as well as other factors, will influence the frequency and duration of treatment. Before beginning the treatment, consult with an oncologist to fully comprehend the immunotherapy protocol that has been prescribed. One should also ask about the type of immunotherapy they will receive.
Ask the health care team the following questions if immunotherapy cancer treatment is an option:
Which type of immunotherapy would you suggest? Why?
What is the objective of the treatment?
Is immunotherapy treatment the only option? If not, what additional treatments will I require?
How will I be treated with immunotherapy?
Where will I be able to receive immunotherapy treatment?
How long will each treatment session take?
How frequently will I need to have this treatment?
Are there any side effects of immunotherapy?
How can these side effects be dealt with?
What side effects should I notify you of right away?
What impact will this treatment have on my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and participate in my normal activities?
Who can I talk to if I'm worried or anxious about having this treatment?
What are the long-term consequences of immunotherapy?
Will I require any tests or scans prior to, during, or the following immunotherapy?
Could my immunotherapy dose or duration change over time?
Immunotherapy for cancer can have side effects. Many of these may occur when the immune system, which has been activated to fight cancer, also attacks healthy cells and tissues in the body.
Side effects may vary from person to person. It will be determined by how healthy a patient was before treatment, the type of cancer, how advanced it is, the type of immunotherapy they are receiving, and the dosage prescribed.
Some side effects of immunotherapy may include the following :
The cancer care team can assist the patient in preventing and managing side effects. One should inquire ahead of time about the drugs being used, how to deal with side effects, and when they should contact the doctor or nurse. Notify them of new, different, or worsening health problems as soon as possible, as early detection can prevent them from worsening.
For minor side effects, the treatment will most likely be continued, and one will be watched for changes in symptoms. For moderate or severe side effects, the doctor may decide to discontinue treatment and prescribe some medications for the symptoms.
Our immunotherapy cancer treatment specialists are committed to providing excellent patient care by developing effective and personalized treatment plans. Some of Florida's most experienced providers are on our team. Our professionals strive to create a positive environment for patients and their families throughout their cancer journey.
One can consult with the ACTC providers listed below: