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How Does Immunology Work in Cancer Treatments?

Your immune system has powerful anti-cancer abilities. In fact, your immune system stops most misbehaving cells before they can become cancerous. Immunology, the study of the immune system, has started to harness this ability. Immunology has discovered and learned to activate many of our body’s anti-cancer resources to target and eliminate cancer cells. 

What is Immunology?

Immunology is a field of science that studies the immune system. Your immune system defends you from viruses and bacteria, monitors your cells, and eliminates ones that could turn into cancer. Treatments using the immune system to attack cancer are called immunotherapy. They can effectively treat many cancers with fewer side effects than other methods. 

Immunotherapy tucson

How Does Immunology Work in Cancer Treatments?

Immunology has discovered that your immune system can fight cancer in many ways. One method is the use of treatment vaccines. Unlike a typical vaccine, this one teaches the immune system to recognize and attack cancer. Other methods mobilize immune system components, like antibodies and T cells, that form part of the body’s natural cancer defenses. 

These changes to the immune system make it better at finding and killing cancer cells. They can stop these cells from dividing and interrupt their ability to grow and spread. Immunotherapy can be used alone or in combination with other treatments to make them more effective. Advances in immunology allow scientists to keep discovering new ways to target cancer in different ways. 

What are the Side Effects of Immunotherapy?

Thanks to immunology, we know that many of the symptoms of a cold or flu come from your own immune system. The side effects of immunotherapy are the result of your immune system being activated, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Rashes
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Each person will react differently to immunotherapy. Some experience more side effects than others. Your experience will be different if your plan includes other treatment methods like chemotherapy. Immunotherapy avoids most of the “friendly fire” that causes side effects in chemotherapy. 


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

Am I a Good Candidate for Immunotherapy?

Only a full medical assessment can determine whether immunotherapy should be part of your treatment plan. Not all types of cancer respond to immunotherapy. Some people whose immune systems do not work normally may not be good candidates. 

Immunology allows scientists to determine which genetic changes have occurred in cancer cells and which types of immunotherapy can target them most effectively. Each type of immunotherapy targets cancer cells in a different way. Your treatment team will discuss all your options, including immunotherapy, and what you can expect. 



*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Do you have questions about immunology and immunotherapy? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page.

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