Penn medical oncologists are experts in the use of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
Immunotherapy is treatment that uses certain parts of the immune system to fight cancer or to lessen the side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments.
This can include stimulating your own immune system to work harder, or using an outside source, such as immune system proteins developed in the laboratory. Other terms used to describe immunotherapy include biologic response modifiers and biologic therapy.
The immune system is a network of cells and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by foreign, substances. This network is one of the body's main defenses against disease. It works against disease, including cancer, in many ways. For example, the immune system may recognize the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells and work to eliminate those that become cancerous. Cancer may develop when the immune system breaks down or is not functioning adequately.
Immunotherapies are designed to repair, stimulate, or enhance the immune system's responses.
Visit Oncolink for more information on biological therapies.