Immunotherapy, a new approach to cancer treatment, uses specially created antibodies made to recognize specific cancer cells.
The motive of such treatment is to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infections, cancer, and other diseases. Immunotherapy is also known as biological therapy, biotherapy, or biological response modifier (BRM) therapy.
The immune system of body includes spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, bone marrow, and white blood cells. These all help to protect oneself from getting infections and diseases. When the immune system works the way it should, it can tell the difference between “good” cells that keep you healthy and “bad” cells that make you sick. But sometimes this doesn’t happen.
Doctors are doing research to learn why some immune systems don’t fight off diseases like cancer. Cancer vaccines are a form of biological therapy that may help your body fight the cancer and keep it from coming back.
While other vaccines (like ones for measles or mumps) are given before you get sick, cancer vaccines are given after you have cancer. Cancer vaccines may help your body fight the cancer and keep it from coming back.
Doctors are learning more all the time about cancer vaccines. They are now doing research about how cancer vaccines can help people diagnosed with some cancers such as melanoma, lymphoma, and kidney, breast, ovarian, prostate, colon, and rectal cancers.
Examples of immunotherapy / biological response modifiers include Trastuzumab ( Herceptin) for treatment of breast cancer and use of Bevacizumab (Avastin) and Cetuximab (Erbitux) in treatment of Colon Cancers.