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Doctor insights on: Immunotherapy Vs Chemo

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What is the possible advantage that immunotherapy might have over chemo?

What is the possible advantage that immunotherapy might have over chemo?

Toxicity/duration: While the answer varies, there are some general differences: 1. Chemotherapy typically causes a quicker tumor response 2. Immunotherapy is more likely to induce a longterm or "durable" response 3. Chemotherapy side effects are usually related to injury or death of non-cancerous cells, 4. Immunotherapy side effects are from inflammation of the immune system. ...Read more

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Dr. Michael Palumbo
1,126 doctors shared insights

Immunotherapy (Definition)

Encompasses subcutaneous, patch or sublingual treatment with increasing amounts of specific allergen. Used for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and hymenoptera hypersensitivity (and in ongoing trials for food allergy). Specific IgE-mediated disease must be proven. Indications are lack of symptom control despite medication/avoidance, reduce risk of anaphylaxis, or ...Read more


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How are chemotherapy and immunotherapy different?

How are chemotherapy and immunotherapy different?

See below: Chemotherapy involves drugs that are cytotoxic i.E destroy rapidly dividing cells (cancer cells); they are non-specific and not targeting any particular cancer biomarker. Immunotherapies on the other hand are of 2 types- 1] antibodies targeting certain biomarkers in cancer cells 2] treatments to boost patients immune response against the tumor. ...Read more

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What are the advantages of immunotherapy over chemotherapy?

What are the advantages of immunotherapy over chemotherapy?

None: We all wish that we could learn how to manipulate the immune system to battle cancer without chemotherapy but this has been an empty promise so far. There is a lot of ongoing research in immunotherapy but to date they don't compare at all with chemotherapy. Some cancers may be more amenable to immunotherapy and there have been some promising results, but we are still a long way away. ...Read more

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Are there any immunotherapy treatments to treat testicular cancer? It seems like chemo and radiation are the only options mentioned online.

Are there any immunotherapy treatments to treat testicular cancer? It seems like chemo and radiation are the only options mentioned online.

No not yet: Chemotherapy is highly effective in curing testicular cancer. So there has not been any need or efforts made to test immunotherapy. it is not a good idea to bypass effective therapy and use something with unknown activity/benefit. ...Read more

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Can Keytruda, as an immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer, be part of a chemo protocol at major medical center vs. only available in a clinical trial?

Can Keytruda, as an immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer, be part of a chemo protocol at major medical center vs. only available in a clinical trial?

Join aClinical trial: Keytruda used alone has not shown significant activity. So it is being tested in combination with targeted agents. This is being done as a clinical trial. But you have to go to a cancer Center where there is a Pancreatic Cancer team which has a center for Pancreatic Cancer like in Houston or New York or Nashville(Sarah Cannon cancer Center) ...Read more

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Could i go from chemo to life suport?

Could i go from chemo to life suport?

It depends: it depends on what kind of Cancer you have and what all has been done for you already. If the chemotherapy has been fully utilized, then it is good to switch over to Palliative care. Life support means different things to different folks. You should seek a palliative care specialist. ...Read more

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Can I use steroids while having chemo?

Only if prescribed: Steroids such as Dexamethasone are commonly used to prevent allergic reactions or nausea from chemotherapy. So, as long as your doctor has prescribed the steroids, then it is ok. However, do not use steroids that have not been prescribed by your doctor, it can be very dangerous. Best wishes, ariel. ...Read more

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Do i need chemo for every type of cancer?

Do i need chemo for every type of cancer?

No: There are at least 1000 different types and most can be early or advanced. The question of which ones are best cmgiven chemotherapeutic occupies the minds of the best scientists ...Read more

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Second chemo treatment, what can I expect?

Second chemo treatment, what can I expect?

Similar to first: While some side effects from chemotherapy r cumulative, depending on the drugs being used many different side effects may b experienced. For a second cycle you shouldn't expect too much of anything different from the first cycle. Talk to your oncologist for your specific chemotherapy related side effects and timings when to expect them. ...Read more

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Can I get sick from mom's chemo if I clean up after her?

Could: It is what is in her ''poop'' not the chemo . Talk to her oncologist. ...Read more

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Could I take ondansetron if i'm not going through chemo?

Could I take ondansetron if i'm not going through chemo?

Yes: Ondansetron is used in nausea due to other causes. The dose used in often different at 4 mg rather than 8 mg. Check with your doctor. ...Read more

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What can I do to boost health with the chemo treatments?

What can I do to boost health with the chemo treatments?

Do this:: Eat well, maintain physical activity, and have a good attitude. Your health is ultimately your responsibility so stay in contact with your oncology team. Tell them what's going on and follow their recommendations. Best to you. ...Read more

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I have a child with cancer is scared of chemo. Need advice?

I have a child with cancer is scared of chemo. Need advice?

Get Help!: I'm sorry you and your child have to face cancer treatment, and i hope for a cure. Is your child being treated at a children's cancer center? Usually these centers have child life specialists, social workers, and psychologists to help kids and families. Play therapy really works. Kids are very tough and usually most afraid of making their parents worry. Good luck! ...Read more

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What should I do to reduce the effects of neuropathy after chemo?

Difficult to treat: However, nerve pain medications like Gabapentin or Lyrica (pregabalin) can be beneficial. Some medications that can also be used as anti-depressants, such as Cymbalta or Effexor can be used as well. Topical pain creams containing ketamine can be helpful in treating chemo induced polyneuropathy as well. ...Read more

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When i'm on the cellular level, how does radiation and chemo work?

When i'm on the cellular level, how does radiation and chemo work?

Very complex issues!: There are tons of articles written on this subject. But basically they damage the dna of rapidly dividing cells which leads to cell death. Cancer cells are more sensitive to the dna damaging effects of chemo and radiotherapy in comparison to normal cells of our bodies. As a result more cancer cells die from such treatments than normal cells. ...Read more

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I finished chemo 8 weeks ago, what to do to make hair grow faster?

I finished chemo 8 weeks ago, what to do to make hair grow faster?

Vitamins: If your doctor is okay with it, you can take vitamins for hair/skin/nails which contain biotin and silica generally. There are also some topical sprays to stimulate growth. See if there is an "Image Recovery Center" near you - they will probably carry the scalp product or could order it in for you. ...Read more

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What occurs if i accidentally got pregnant after husband had chemo?

Normal baby: Usually chemotherapy causes temporary or permanent sterility. If the testicles do recover, evidence is that they make normal sperm. Pregnancies after chemo for hodgkins and other diseases have same risk of abnormalities as normals. Women getting chemo in early pregnancy, however -- babies have increased risk of abnormalities. ...Read more

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Does sugar fuel nonhodgkins lymphoma I've had one round of chemo?

No: Eat what you please and sensibly unless your physician has told you otherwise, and ignore all of the silly internet disinformation about various simple pleasures causing or fueling cancer. Those folks are crooks. Best wishes. ...Read more

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I got a migrain during chemo and lost a strip of sight - nerve ends died?

I got a migrain during chemo and lost a strip of sight - nerve ends died?

Still present?: During migraine, it's common to use vision -- often with a flickering pattern -- in a portion of one side of both visual fields. It's almost always temporary, though it may recur. Nobody knows exactly what is happening to brain and/or blood vessels when these "scintillating scotomas" happen but it's usually transient. If it's still happening, get seen at once. I hope you get a good result. ...Read more

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Caring for my dad during chemo and I have a cold. Should i stay away or is it okay?

Caring for my dad during chemo and I have a cold. Should i stay away or is it okay?

Wear a mask: Most forms of chemotherapy weakens the immune system so if you have a cold it will be easier for your dad to catch your cold. You can check with his doctor but i would recommend wearing a mask when around him to help him stay healthy. Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene. ...Read more

Dr. Devon Webster
967 doctors shared insights

Chemotherapy (Definition)

The term chemotherapy typically is used to describe using chemicals to treat ...Read more