Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be devastating and overwhelming. When you think of treatment types, you may think chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. There is another treatment option that may not be on your radar: immunotherapy.
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy, also called biological therapy, is treatment that uses your immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy works by stimulating your immune system’s natural defenses, or by using substances to restore or improve the immune system.
How is immunotherapy given?
Immunotherapy can be delivered through IV, injection or orally. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, immunotherapy can be your only form of treatment. This therapy is also combined with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. It may also be used as maintenance therapy following chemotherapy.
What does immunotherapy treat?
Immunotherapy treats different types of cancers, including: bladder cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, colorectal (colon) cancer, head and neck cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, skin cancer and lymphoma.
How long has immunotherapy been around?
The FDA approved the first cancer immunotherapy in 1990. Since then, several immunotherapy drugs have received FDA approval.
What is immunomemory?
When you receive immunotherapy, your immune system learns to go after cancer cells if they return. This is called immunomemory, and it could help people stay cancer-free for a longer period of time.
Where can I receive immunotherapy?
Talk to your oncologist about which treatment options are right for you. Immunotherapy is available at many hospitals in Maryland, including Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center (LHAAMC). You can contact the team at the LHAAMC Infusion Center at 443-481-5740 to find out if immunotherapy could be right for you.