What is biotherapy/immunotherapy?

Biotherapy, also known as biological therapy or immunotherapy, is a treatment to boost or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer, infections, and other diseases. It is also used to lessen certain side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments. Agents used in biological/immunotherapy include monoclonal antibodies, growth factors, and vaccines. These agents may also have a direct anti-tumor effect. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biotherapy, BRM therapy, and immunotherapy.

What is the difference between biological therapy and chemotherapy?

Biological/immunotherapy and chemotherapy are both treatments that fight cancer. While they may seem alike, they work in different ways. Biological/immunotherapy helps your immune system fight cancer. Chemotherapy attacks the cancer cells directly.

How does biological/immunotherapy therapy fight cancer?

Doctors are not sure how biological/immunotherapy helps your immune system fight cancer. But they think it may:

  • Stop or slow the growth of cancer cells.
  • Make it easier for your immune system to destroy, or get rid of, cancer cells.
  • Keep cancer from spreading to other parts of your body.