Immunotherapy, also called Biologic Therapy, is a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function. Immunotherapy may work by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells.

Cancer immunotherapy can work on many different types of cancer.  It enables the immune system to recognize and target cancer cells.  It has been an effective treatment for patients with certain types of cancer that have been resistant to chemotherapy and radiation treatment.    The list of cancers that are currently treated using immunotherapy is extensive.

  • Bladder Cancer

  • Brain Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Skin Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer

Immunotherapy offers the possibility for long-term cancer remission

Immunotherapy can “train” the immune system to remember cancer cells. This “immunomemory” may result in longer-lasting remissions.  Clinical studies on long-term overall survival have shown that the beneficial responses to cancer immunotherapy treatment are durable—that is, they can be maintained even after treatment is completed.

Cancer immunotherapy may not cause the same side effects as chemotherapy and radiation

Cancer immunotherapy is focused on the immune system and is often more targeted than conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation.  Both chemotherapy and radiation damage healthy cells, leading to common side effects such as hair loss and nausea/vomiting. These side effects may be less likely with immunotherapy.

Side effects of cancer immunotherapy will vary depending on which type of immunotherapy is used. They are usually related to stimulation of the immune system and can range from minor symptoms of inflammation (e.g., fever) to major conditions similar to autoimmune disorders.