5 Facts About Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer


Jennifer L.W. Fink, RN, BSN

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Immunotherapy, the use of medications to encourage the immune system to attack and kill cancer cells, is changing cancer care. Immunotherapy can successfully treat certain types of skin, lung and kidney cancer, and is now being used to treat head and neck cancer that has progressed despite treatment.

But despite the excitement surrounding immunotherapy, doctors say it’s important to remember that it is not a “silver bullet” or miracle treatment. Here are five need-to-know facts about immunotherapy and head and neck cancer.

1. Head and neck cancers are particularly good targets for immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy seems to be most effective against cancers and tumors that have undergone a lot of mutations, and many head and neck cancers fit that bill. That may be why immunotherapy has produced some outstanding outcomes in people who previously had few options.

What is immunotherapy, and how can it fight cancer? These experts explain this exciting new treatment.

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