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Immunotherapy is a specific type of cancer treatment which enhances the body’s natural defenses against cancer. There are several different types of immunotherapy treatment:

Image Courtesy Merck Pharmaceuticals

Adoptive Cell Transfer Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a type of immunotherapy which helps the body fight disease through the presence of T-Cells. T-cells are lymphocytes which play an integral role in the immune response. T-cells are found in the patient’s blood and tissue, grown in a laboratory environment, and then reinfused into the patient. ACT is also referred to as: adoptive cell transfer, cellular adoptive immunotherapy, and T-cell transfer therapy.

Checkpoint Inhibitors

Checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that block certain proteins that restrain T-cells from attacking cancer cells. When these proteins are blocked, the T-cells are unleashed to attack cancer cells more effectively.

Monoclonal Antibodies (MABs)

Monoclonal antibodies (MABs) are produced in a laboratory and they can enhance the body’s natural mechanisms to attack cancer cells. There are different types of MABs and they function in various ways to treat cancer including: blocking cell growth, triggering an immune system response, directly attacking cancer cells, etc.

Treatment Vaccines

Cancer treatment vaccines stimulate the immune system to identify and destroy cancer cells that have cancer-specific antigens on their surface. The vaccines can help destroy cancer cells, prevent the return of cancer, and/or halt the growth of a cancerous tumor.

Cytokines

Cytokines are proteins made by the body’s immune cells. Cytokine therapy may help the immune system attack cancerous cells. The two main types of cytokines used to treat cancer are interleukins and interferons.

How and when you receive immunotherapy treatments depends on your specific cancer diagnosis and how your body reacts to treatment. If you are interested in immunotherapy, please contact our office.

More information about immunotherapy can be found at:

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/immunotherapy
https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/diagnosis-treatment/cancer-treatments/immunotherapy
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  • New patient: you have a medical condition that is or could be cancerous or a blood disorder
  • Transfer care: you are moving into the area and need an oncologist/hematologist, or you are currently under the care of a local oncologist/hematologist and would like to transfer care to one of our physicians
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