Your immune system is a collection of organs, special cells and substances that help protect you from infections and other diseases. The immune system often has a more challenging time targeting cancer cells because the cells often aren’t different enough from normal cells for the immune system to see them as foreign. Even if the immune system does recognize the cancer cells, they often aren’t strong enough to destroy the cancer. Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer by strengthening the immune system and recognizing the cancer cells to destroy them.
Immunotherapy stimulates your own immune system to work harder or smarter to attack cancer cells or by giving the immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins. Immunotherapy has been approved to fight cancers of the lung, melanoma, bladder, kidney, head and neck.
As the region’s only comprehensive cancer treatment center, the W. Temple Webber Cancer Center at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System provides this life-changing treatment to cancer patients in Texarkana and the surrounding four-states area.
“Immunotherapy is becoming a crucial part of cancer treatment and will only continue to impact how cancer is treated in the future,” said Hesham Hazin, M.D., medical oncologist and hematologist at the CHRISTUS St. Michael Oncology Clinic with the W. Temple Webber Cancer Center. “So far we have seen, with certain cancers and with the appropriate combination of other treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, people are living longer – bottom line.”