Predicting response to naratuximab emtansine & rituximab in DLBCL / ASCO 2022

What Is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, refers to a medical treatment that activates or suppresses the patient’s immune system:

 

  • Activation immunotherapies — trigger or amplify an immune response.
  • Suppression immunotherapies — suppress or reduce immune responses.

 

Immunotherapy has gained traction in recent years. A growing number of practitioners, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies show interest in its potential to treat cancer. Immunotherapy promises to raise the standard of care for various forms of cancer, yet at the same time, is likely to increase the cost and complexity of patient care.

How Does Immunotherapy Work Against Cancer?

There are various ways to administer different immunotherapies, including:

 

  • Topically — the immunotherapy enters the body through a balm applied to the patient’s skin. This type of immunotherapy is typical for the early stages of skin cancer.
  • Orally — the immunotherapy enters the body through the patient’s mouth, usually in the form of pills.
  • Intravenously (IV) — the immunotherapy enters the bloodstream directly through a vein.
  • Intravesically — the immunotherapy enters the body via the bladder.

 

Patients can receive immunotherapy in a clinic, doctor’s practice, or hospital.
Patients treated at a hospital are usually outpatients, so they don’t stay at the hospital overnight.

How Often Do Patients Receive Immunotherapy?

The duration and frequency of immunotherapy treatments depend on various factors, including:

 

  • The type of cancer
  • The stage of cancer (from 1 to 4)
  • The type of immunotherapy administered
  • The body’s reaction to the treatment

 

Patients may undergo immunotherapy treatments daily, weekly, or monthly.
Some immunotherapies are administered in cycles, with a rest period between each cycle.
These rest periods allow the body to recover, respond to the treatment, and build healthy cells.

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