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Immunotherapy for Colorectal Cancer

What Are the Side Effects of Immunotherapies?

Like other forms of cancer treatment, immunotherapies can cause a number of side effects. These side effects can vary widely from person to person. Biologic response modifiers may cause flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, nausea, and loss of appetite. In addition, rashes or swelling may develop at the site where they are injected and blood pressure may drop as a result of treatment. Fatigue is another common side effect of biologic response modifiers. In addition:

  • Side effects of colony-stimulating factors may include bone pain, fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite.
  • The side effects of monoclonal antibodies vary and serious allergic reactions may occur.
  • Vaccines can cause muscle aches and low-grade fever.
  • Rashes are a common and may be a severe side effect of Erbitux or Vectibix. Rashes are usually indicative that these drugs are working. They are a side effect of the drugs, not an allergy.
  • Bleeding, blood clotting, or bowel perforation may occur as a side effect of Avastin.

Talk to your doctor to learn if immunotherapy is right for you.

 


 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arnold Wax, MD on June 01, 2012

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