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For treating cancer, is immunotherapy safer than chemotherapy and radiation?

ANSWER

In some cases, immunotherapy may be safer than chemotherapy and radiation. But like all cancer treatments, it has serious risks. It can make your immune system behave differently. This can lead to fevers, autoimmune disorders, and other problems.

SOURCES:

Milan Radovich, PhD, medical co-director, Indiana University/IU Health Precision Genomics Program, Indianapolis.

American Cancer Society: "Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know," "What is Cancer Immunotherapy?"

Cancer Research Institute: "Cancer Immunotherapy: Should You Participate?" "Head and Neck Cancer."

FDA: "Step 3: Clinical Research."

Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, vice president, Kaiser Permanente Research, Oakland, CA.

National Cancer Institute: "Immunotherapy,” "Targeted Cancer Therapies."

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Immunotherapy," "Review Highlights Potential of Cancer Immunotherapy Plus Targeted Therapy."

Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: "6 Questions in Cancer Immunotherapy.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 23, 2019

SOURCES:

Milan Radovich, PhD, medical co-director, Indiana University/IU Health Precision Genomics Program, Indianapolis.

American Cancer Society: "Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know," "What is Cancer Immunotherapy?"

Cancer Research Institute: "Cancer Immunotherapy: Should You Participate?" "Head and Neck Cancer."

FDA: "Step 3: Clinical Research."

Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, vice president, Kaiser Permanente Research, Oakland, CA.

National Cancer Institute: "Immunotherapy,” "Targeted Cancer Therapies."

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Immunotherapy," "Review Highlights Potential of Cancer Immunotherapy Plus Targeted Therapy."

Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: "6 Questions in Cancer Immunotherapy.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 23, 2019

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