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Immunotherapy Specialist

West Houston Allergy & Asthma

Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology located in Katy, Richmond, & Houston, TX

When it comes to making important decisions about your cancer treatment, many people consider immunotherapy. Pardeep Rihal, MD, at West Houston Allergy & Asthma offers expertise and customized care for the communities in Katy, Richmond, and Houston, Texas. Call the office closest to you today to learn more about immunotherapy or book an appointment online.

Immunotherapy Q & A

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that harnesses the immune system to fight infections and cancer cells. Immunotherapy helps boost your immune system while treating cancer.

It’s considered a form of biological therapy. Biological therapy uses natural substances found in the body to treat cancer or disease, in much the same way your body attacks bacteria or viruses. Immunotherapy uses living organisms injected under the skin or administered through an IV.

What are the types of immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy comes in different forms, including drugs or cell-based therapy. For cell-based therapy, the person’s immune cells form the basis of the treatment. The immunologist extracts and modifies the cells before melding them back into the body.

The following types of immunotherapy either encourage the immune system to attack cancer directly or boosts the immune system in general.

  • Cancer vaccines: To protect against abnormal or damaged cells
  • Checkpoint inhibitors: Aids your body’s ability to allow T cells to fight cancer
  • Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR): An innovative approach that uses your immune cells to create a new protein as cancer fighters.
  • Cytokines: Made up of your body’s proteins to fight the cancer 

The type of immunotherapy chosen depends on your health condition and doctor’s advice.

What types of cancers does immunotherapy treat?

Recent years have seen many advances in the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy. The FDA has approved immunotherapies for the following cancers:

  • Melanoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Lymphoma

If you have a cancer not listed above, you may still want to consider immunotherapy.

How does immunotherapy fight cancer, and are there side effects?

The reason cancer survives in your body is because of its ability to hide. Immunotherapy either enables the immune system to find and recognize cancer or boosts the immune system. 

Side effects of immunotherapy vary and affect each person differently. While it’s a safe treatment, men and women experience different side effects depending on their health background. Some common side effects include pain and swelling around the injection site and flu-like symptoms after treatment.

West Houston Allergy & Asthma prides itself on offering innovative and safe immunotherapy for the communities in Katy, Richmond, and Houston, Texas. Call the office closest to you today to schedule a consultation, or book online.