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How does immunotherapy affect my hematologic cancer?

Immunotherapy is becoming increasingly utilized for many hematologic cancers. Although chemotherapy remains the mainstay of treatment in most cases, immunotherapy may be useful as additional therapy in some types and stages of hematologic cancers. Immunotherapy uses components of the immune system - either cells or antibodies - to destroy cancer cells. The main form of immunotherapy involves the use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). These are molecules manufactured in laboratories that specifically attach to the surface of cancer cells. They either directly destroy the cancer cell or are combined with a toxin or radioactive molecule that kills the cancer cell. By attaching specifically to cancer cells, mAb drugs cause much fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy drugs. Other forms of immunotherapy include vaccines and donor lymphocyte infusion.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.