Biotherapy (also known as biologic therapy or biologic response modifier therapy) is the fourth in the family of established cancer treatments that includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Biotherapy works differently from other treatment methods because it does not have a direct killing effect on cancer cells. Instead, it works indirectly by mobilizing your body’s immune system to reject the cancer.

Your immune system is a complex network of mobile cells, soluble proteins and organs containing resting cells that cooperate to defend your body against attacks by foreign or non-self invaders. Your immune system is adept at recognizing the difference between cells that originate in the body and those that originate outside that body. This ability is particularly seen in the body’s reaction to viruses and is noted also in the rejection of transplanted organs unless patients receive strong immunosuppressive medications. Biotherapy uses the body’s biologic agents to stimulate the immune system so tumor cells can no longer escape from your body’s immune surveillance system. Ask your physician if biotherapy is right for you.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 252-744-1888 or 800-223-9328. After hours, call 800-722-3281 for the ECU Physicians answering service.