Cancer treatments are continuously developing and improving, and doctors might use many different approaches to tackle specific illnesses. If you or your loved one has mesothelioma, immunotherapy could be one such approach that is part of the treatment.
What is immunotherapy?
Essentially, immunotherapy means using a person’s immune system to treat cancer. Our immune systems can be incredibly powerful and effective at treating diseases, but they need help when it comes to severe illnesses.
Immunotherapy treatments help the immune system in specific ways to inhibit, alter or augment its response to cancer cells. There are several types of immunotherapy, including:
- Cancer vaccines
- T-cell inhibitors
- Use of monoclonal antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitors
- Virus therapy
- Use of cytokines
The specific type of immunotherapy doctors use depends on the patient’s medical history and the illness they have. And providers may use immunotherapy on its own or in connection with other treatments, like surgery and chemotherapy.
What to ask your doctors
If you have mesothelioma or you want to support someone else who does, asking questions about immunotherapy can be crucial. Some questions might include:
- Is this treatment appropriate?
- Are there immunotherapy clinical trials that may be open?
- How will these treatments make me feel?
- Will I need to make lifestyle adjustments?
- How long will they take?
- What is the expected benefit of immunotherapy?
- What complications could occur?
Asking questions is always a good idea regarding the options for treating cancers like mesothelioma. It helps patients and families make informed choices about their care, which is vital.
Getting the care you need
Whether immunotherapy is part of a treatment plan or not, it is crucial that you and your loved ones have access to the medical professionals and care options you need. This can be difficult and expensive, but working with an attorney to connect you with resources and pursue compensation from the parties who contributed to the development of mesothelioma can help.