The main type of immunotherapy for cancer uses drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. If you are having checkpoint inhibitors, this information will help you understand how they work, why they are different to chemotherapy and what to expect after you have them.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Get an overview of how checkpoint inhibitors work with the immune system.
Find answers to questions such as: will immunotherapy work, what will it cost and how is it given?
The side effects of checkpoint inhibitors are different to chemotherapy side effects. Learn about the possible side effects and why it’s important to report them.
Some other types of immunotherapy are being used or tested as cancer treatments. Read about immune stimulants, CAR T-cell therapy and oncolytic virus therapy.
- Is immunotherapy available as part of my treatment plan? If not, why not? Would other treatment options be better for me?
- How do I find out about clinical trials? Are there any nearby that might be right for me?
- Which immunotherapy drug are you recommending? Does it have different names?
- What percentage of people with this type of cancer respond to immunotherapy?
- How often have you prescribed this treatment? Has it worked well for your other patients?
- What do you expect the immunotherapy to do to the cancer? Will it be my only treatment?
- How much will immunotherapy cost? Is there any way to reduce the cost if I can’t afford it?
- How often will I receive immunotherapy?
- How long will I have treatment?
- Where will I have treatment?
- What side effects should I watch out for or report? Can I get some written information about them?
- Am I likely to get all of the side effects on the list?
- Who do I contact if I get side effects?
- How can side effects be managed?
- Will I have to pay for extra medicines to help manage side effects?
- Can I take my other medicines while I am having immunotherapy?
- Can I have the flu, COVID-19 or other vaccines?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?