Immunotherapy is now a standard treatment for some cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer. Early studies indicate it is also a useful treatment for mesothelioma.
Before it can become a standard treatment further evidence from clinical trials is necessary. There are various clinical trials open in the UK that include immunotherapy and results are awaited from some trials that have closed.
What is it?
Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that helps the immune system to fight disease including cancer. The immune system is made up of white blood cells, tissues and organs (glands also known as the lymphatic system). Cancer cells have various properties that allow them to hide from the immune system.
What does it do?
Immunotherapy treatments work in different ways. Some “mark” the cancer cells making it possible for the immune system to find and destroy them. Other forms of immunotherapy work to strengthen the immune system to work more effectively against cancer.
The benefits of immunotherapy Include:
- Using the natural processes of the immune system to fight cancer internally
- A targeted approach that only targets cancer cells in comparison to chemotherapy which damages both healthy and cancerous cells
- Side effects are few, and more manageable compared to other anti-cancer therapies
How is it given?
Immunotherapy for mesothelioma is given into a vein (intravenously). How often and how long you receive immunotherapy depends upon:
- The immunotherapy drug you are given
- How your body reacts to the treatment
- Whether the Immunotherapy Is working effectively
More information on immunotherapy is available in our downloadable resources section.
If you would like to speak to a mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist about any of the information on this page please call our Freephone Information Line on 0800 169 2409 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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