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Immunotherapy: Teaching the Body to Fight Cancer

Posted 2/15/2016 by UHBlog

The immune system helps protect us from germs and other health problems by keeping track of all substances found in the body. When an unknown substance appears, the immune system sees it as something strange and attacks it. Cancer cells are able to hide from the immune system. Experts don’t know exactly why this happens.

Immunotherapy is a new treatment that is changing cancer care by using a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. It teaches the body to kill cancer cells in two basic ways. Some types of immunotherapies make cancer cells simpler for the body to find. Other types boost the immune system so it can work harder or smarter to find and kill cancer.

Immunotherapy drugs are now used to treat many types of cancers. Other immunotherapies are being studied in clinical trials. To learn more about immunotherapies that may be used to treat your cancer see the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ® Adult Cancer Summaries.

Dr. Henry Koon, a skin cancer expert at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, will give An Overview of Immunotherapy at The Gathering Place in Beachwood, Wednesday, February 24 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. You can register online here or by calling Cheryl Apisdorf at 216-595-9546.

Sources Cited:

American Cancer Society. (2015, November 5). Cancer Immunotherapy. Retrieved from American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003013-pdf.pdf.

National Cancer Institute. (2015, April 29). Immunotherapy. Retrieved from National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/immunotherapy.

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