Making your immune system work harder -- and smarter.
Cancer attacks by hijacking your cells, causing them to rapidly multiply and create tumors. Your body’s immune system -- a network of cells and organs that identifies and defends against diseases -- often does not recognize cancer as a foreign invader like bacteria or viruses. Even if it does, the immune system may be overpowered by the spread of the disease.
Using immunotherapy – also called biological therapy -- we can train your immune system to recognize cancer cells and destroy them like any other disease. We also can use immunotherapy to strengthen your immune system and unleash its full potential in the battle against cancer.
Types of immunotherapy
We use several types of immunotherapy to treat cancer:
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors : This method “unmasks” cancer cells so the immune system can identify and attack them.
- Adoptive cell immunotherapy: This therapy includes chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) therapy which genetically reprograms the patient’s own T cells (a type of immune cell) to find and attack cancer cells throughout the body.
- Monoclonal antibodies: Specially designed immune system proteins are injected into the body to seek out cancer cells and help destroy them.
- Non-specific immunotherapies: These therapies do not target cancer cells directly but instead provide a boost to the immune system’s overall capabilities.
- Vaccines: We develop cancer vaccines using dead cancer cells. The vaccine is then injected into the body to stimulate the immune system to target living cancer cells.
Immunotherapy treatment at Henry Ford
We offer immunotherapy treatment in clinical trials to treat brain tumors, breast cancer, prostate cancer and bladder cancer. Because immunotherapy is a relatively new form of treatment, options are constantly changing, and you may become a candidate for immunotherapy later on. Ask your doctor if you’re a good candidate for immunotherapy.