Suncoast Cancer Institute offers biological therapy for cancer. Biological therapy for cancer is a type of treatment that uses the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Biological therapy for cancer is used in many types of cancer to prevent or slow tumor growth as well as prevent the spread of cancer. Biological therapies can be used as a stand alone treatment or in combination with chemotherapy.

What is Biological Therapy?

Suncoast Cancer Institute uses a type of biological therapy, known as immunotherapy, to signal the body’s immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells. Biological therapies work by either inducing the immune system to attack  cancer cells or by making the cancer cells easier for you immune system to recognize.

The types of immunotherapy used at Suncoast Cancer Institute include:

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Biochemotherapy
  • Cytokine therapy
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Targeted drug therapy

How are Biological Therapies Administered?

Most often, biological therapies are administered through infusion (IV) or injection. Infusions are given in the Suncoast Cancer Institute office in the infusion room. Our infusion rooms are designed with the comfort of our patients in mind and even include privacy curtains, if privacy is desired.

What are the Side Effects of Biological Therapies?

Because immunotherapy uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer cells, many times they are used to reduce the side effects of other cancer treatments. However, biological therapies can produce side effects of their own, such as:

  • Irritation at the site of infusion or injection
    • Pain
    • Swelling
    • Rash
    • Itchiess
    • Redness

Less common but more serious side effects of Cytokines include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Allergic reactions
  • Low blood counts
  • Organ damage
  • Changes in blood chemistry

Less common but more serious side effects of cancer vaccines include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Allergic reactions

If you are undergoing biological therapy and are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact us immediately. We never want our patients to suffer from side effects and work diligently to mitigate them as quickly as possible. Furthermore, your oncologist will meet with you at each appointment to discuss your progress, identify and address any side effects, and alter your treatment plan when necessary.

Is Biological Therapy Right For Me?

Your oncologist at Suncoast Cancer Institute will gladly discuss immunotherapy options with you to determine if it is a viable treatment option. Furthermore, your oncologist will provide you with the information and tools needed to make an informed decision on the best course of treatment for you. To determine if biological therapy is right for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn More About Biological Therapies at Suncoast Cancer Institute

For more information on biological therapies, or to learn more about the personalized cancer care at Suncoast Cancer Institute, contact us today. We look forward to welcoming you into the Suncoast family.

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