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When should I combine immunotherapy with other treatments?

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Sometimes. Usually, it's used after chemotherapy or radiation. In many cases, this is because those didn’t work. For certain forms of tough-to-treat or advanced cancers, like metastatic squamous cell carcinoma, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy as a first or early treatment.

Immunotherapy can sometimes be paired with traditional treatments. This is called combination therapy. It may include chemotherapy and immunotherapy, or it could involve immunotherapy and other forms of targeted therapy. It might even mix two types of immunotherapy. As part of your overall cancer treatment, your doctor may recommend other steps, like surgery or radiation.

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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What is tailored medicine?

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