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Immunotherapy and targeted therapy are types of cancer treatment.
Immunotherapy is a type of biological therapy that helps your body fight cancer by stimulating the immune system or helping it identify “hidden” cancer cells. It uses natural substances made in the body or artificial substances that act like your body’s natural ones.
Targeted therapy uses drugs that target genes and proteins associated with cancer to stop the progression of the disease.
There is some overlap between these two types of cancer treatments since some targeted therapies work through the immune system.
The experienced oncology team at Dignity Health Cancer Institute of Greater Sacramento partners with our cancer patients to enable them to take charge of your health. If you’ve been diagnosed with a type of cancer, Find a Doctor or call 888.800.7688 to learn more about our state-of-the-art immunotherapy and targeted therapy in the Sacramento region.
For targeted therapies to work, you must have the cancer gene mutation or protein that needs to be targeted. Your oncologist may need to run a test to make sure your tumor has the specific target. This type of cancer treatment may be a good option if you have certain breast, colon, and lung cancers, as well as melanomas that contain the BRAF gene mutation.
The two main types of targeted therapies are:
Immunotherapy uses the power of the immune system to boost your body’s natural ability to fight the effects of cancer. The most common types of immunotherapies include:
The type of cancer, its stage, and the type of therapy will determine where and how you will receive the treatment. Monoclonal antibodies are usually given through an IV. Small-molecule drugs are often taken in pill form.
If targeted therapy or immunotherapy is not an option for your type and stage of cancer, ask your doctor if you are a candidate for a clinical trial at Dignity Health.
Your recovery plan after cancer therapy will depend on the type of therapy, dose, your side effects, and your overall health. Your oncologist will determine your follow-up plan, depending on how well the therapy is working and whether you will need additional treatments.