Biotherapy (biological therapy or targeted therapy) is a cancer treatment that restores or boosts the body’s own immune system to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells and keep cancer from spreading. Some biotherapies interfere with the tumor’s ability to grow its own blood supply; others interrupt the signaling system within the cancer cell to prevent it from growing and dividing.
Monoclonal antibodies, cancer vaccines, and growth factors are all types of biotherapy. Biotherapy is given in the same way that chemotherapy is given: by mouth, through a vein or as an injection. Biotherapy is often given in combination with chemotherapy; you will want to ask specifically what side effects to expect if you receive a combination of these two treatments.
Although biotherapy does not attack healthy cells, it still may have side effects. Some of the more common side effects are skin rashes and a reaction that feels like the flu – fever, chills and body aches.
Targeted Therapy & Caregiving
Targeted therapy is one of the most exciting areas of cancer treatment and research. Clinical trials are looking at many new types of targeted therapy. As a caregiver, you can explore cutting-edge research and clinical trial options for your loved one.