Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Your Immune System and Cancer Treatment

We know the immune system can recognize and kill cancer cells—and there are a number of ways it can do this. As we learn and understand more, the true power of the immune system can be realized. – Dr. Kim Lyerly

Today, immunotherapy is one of the most exciting areas of new discoveries and treatments for many different kinds of cancer. Researchers now know that the interaction between our immune system and cancer is very complex. 

Understanding how the immune system works is opening the doors to developing new treatments that are changing the way we think about and treat cancer. 

Introduction to Frankly Speaking About Cancer:
Your Immune System and Cancer Treatment

If you are interested in immunotherapy, you should discuss your options with your doctor and treatment team. Right now, most people receiving immunotherapy are treated in specialized cancer centers and many of them are enrolled in clinical trials. 

That will change as more trials are completed and more drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat different kinds of cancer. 

The most important things you can do are: 

  • Be treated by doctors who have experience and expertise in treating your kind of cancer
  • Be aware of your treatment options
  • Communicate actively with your health care team throughout your treatment

Helpful Tip

Consider inviting a “partner” to sit in with you during your appointments. He or she can assist in your understanding of the important information presented.

Updated August 12, 2014