What is Immunotherapy?
Historically, treatment options available for cancer included surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy. Immunotherapy—also referred to as I-O therapy or cancer immuno-oncology—is showing great promise in the cancer field as a way to treat certain cancers. With “Immuno” as a reference to the immune system, Immunotherapy uses drugs known as immunotherapies that target a body’s immune system to help fight cancer.
Although Immunotherapy has been around for 30 years, significant advancements have occurred in the last year. The FDA has approved new immunotherapies—two in melanoma and one lung cancer—and they are now available to patients. At least 4 more approvals are expected in the coming year and the over 900 immunotherapy clinical trials active today will most likely result in additional FDA approvals.
There is enthusiasm in this area due to the significant number of patients that have had responses and long-lasting remissions that have not previously been seen within cancer care.
How to Access Immunotherapy
Today, the best way to access these new immunotherapies is through clinical trials. Many practices in The Network, including Arizona Oncology, are well positioned with some of the best trials in this area. Through the support of US Oncology Research, often these trials are open within a Network practice before becoming available in other cancer centers. Arizona Oncology is dedicated to learning about and shaping the newest findings in cancer treatment, and as a result, are able to extend the latest in high-quality care to our patients as soon as new options become available.
If you are interested to learn more please contact our office today.