The cells, antibodies and organs of the immune system work to protect and defend the body against foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, is a type of cancer treatment that uses your body’s own immune system to fight the disease.

How does immunotherapy work?

By using the body’s natural defenses, oncologists are able to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells with few side effects. Immunotherapy works in different ways depending on what type of cancer is present and how an individual’s immune system responds to cancer cells. In lung cancer patients, for example, immunotherapy may be used to enhance the immune system to recognize cancer cells when it otherwise would not.

In other cases, such as breast cancer, certain growth factors may be “overexpressed,” and immunotherapy can work to reverse the progression of these overstimulated cells.

Immunotherapy is designed to boost the immune system, either directly or indirectly, by: 
  • Making it easier for the immune system to recognize cancer cells, and therefore more susceptible to destruction by the immune system 
  • Changing the way cancer cells grow so that they act more like healthy cells 
  • Stemming the flow of blood to a tumor, depriving it of the “fuel” it needs to grow 
  • Stopping the process that transforms a normal cell into a cancerous cell 
  • Enhancing the body's ability to repair or replace normal cells damaged or destroyed by other forms of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy 
  • Preventing cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body

How is immunotherapy administered?

Immunotherapy drugs are infused directly into the bloodstream through an intravenous injection. It’s important to note that taking a multifaceted approach to treatment often yields the best results. Immunotherapies are frequently used in conjunction with different types of treatment, such as radiation, chemotherapy or other medications. By engaging in multiple lines of treatment, your immune system is better able to combat the growth of cancer cells in your body.

Who is a candidate for immunotherapy?

While immunotherapy works well for some, it may not be suitable—or even necessary—for all cancer patients.

At Inspira, we use immunotherapy to treat: 

The science of immunotherapy continues to grow and evolve, and Inspira is on the front lines of this new wave of cancer care.

If you’d like more information about your or a loved one’s cancer care, or to receive a second opinion about a diagnosis, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Why Choose Inspira?

Advanced Technology Meets Compassionate Support

We combine cutting-edge medical technology with a human touch, allowing us to provide expert care. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained oncology physicians are well-versed in the latest cancer treatments and are equipped with advanced technologies that can increase your chances for a successful recovery. We also understand that navigating the ups and downs of life with cancer can be overwhelming, which is why we provide a built-in support system of social workers, counselors, cancer navigators, registered dieticians and behavioral health specialists so you and your family don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone.

A Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Care

Inspira’s oncology physicians take a multi-faceted approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer by looking at your condition from a holistic perspective. Whether you’re just beginning treatment or are a cancer-free survivor, we take everything—genetics, lifestyle habits and other risk factors—into account when designing your care plan. By treating the whole person rather than just the disease itself, we’re able to offer a more targeted, personalized experience.

Access to Clinical Trials

Inspira participates in clinical trials to explore new ways to prevent, detect, or treat cancer. Clinical trials can also focus on other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with cancer. Participants help others and may also benefit from receiving the newest treatment along with additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

Cancer Services Close to Home

Residents of South Jersey need not travel far to get the best in cancer care—with multiple facilities in the region, Inspira delivers a full breadth of cancer services close to where you live. When you’re not distracted by a long commute to your medical provider, you have more energy to focus on what’s important: healing and getting your life back.