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What are some questions someone can ask to see if immunotherapy is right for them?

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Should I Try Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy isn't right for everyone. It doesn't work on all types of cancer -- and if surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy has stopped your cancer from growing, you might not need it. Immunotherapy might be for you if it's approved for your cancer. Even if it isn't, you still might be able to get it in a clinical trial if your first treatments didn't work. Ask your doctor if any trials are testing out new immunotherapy treatments for your cancer type.

Here are questions to ask your doctor to decide if immunotherapy is right for you:

  • Are any immunotherapy treatments approved for my cancer?
  • If not, are any clinical trials testing these treatments for my cancer?
  • How might it help my cancer?
  • Will I get it alone, or with other treatments?
  • How will I get it (by shot, etc.)?
  • How often will I need it?
  • What kinds of side effects can it cause?
  • For how long will I need to take it?
  • What happens if it doesn't work?
  • Make sure you understand how immunotherapy might help you and what side effects it can cause before you start treatment.

From: Is Immunotherapy Right for You? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Cancer Vaccines," "Immune checkpoint inhibitors to treat cancer," "Monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer," "Non-specific cancer immunotherapies and adjuvants," "What is cancer immunotherapy?"

Cancer Research Institute: “The Answer to Cancer: Benefits of Cancer Immunotherapy,” “What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?: Lung Cancer,” “What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?: Lymphoma,” “What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?: Melanoma."

National Cancer Institute: "Atezolizumab," "Bevacizumab," "Immunotherapy," "Ipilimumab," "Nivolumab," "Pembrolizumab."

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: "Immunotherapy."

Cleveland Clinic: "Immunotherapy."

Cancer Immunity : “Monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy.”

Cancer Care: "What is Immunotherapy?"

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on January 23, 2019

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Cancer Vaccines," "Immune checkpoint inhibitors to treat cancer," "Monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer," "Non-specific cancer immunotherapies and adjuvants," "What is cancer immunotherapy?"

Cancer Research Institute: “The Answer to Cancer: Benefits of Cancer Immunotherapy,” “What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?: Lung Cancer,” “What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?: Lymphoma,” “What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?: Melanoma."

National Cancer Institute: "Atezolizumab," "Bevacizumab," "Immunotherapy," "Ipilimumab," "Nivolumab," "Pembrolizumab."

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: "Immunotherapy."

Cleveland Clinic: "Immunotherapy."

Cancer Immunity : “Monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy.”

Cancer Care: "What is Immunotherapy?"

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on January 23, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

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

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