What Is Immunotherapy in Kidney Cancer?

Q:

What is immunotherapy in kidney cancer?

A:

Immunotherapy is used in kidney cancer to enhance the immune system of the patients in order to destroy the cancer cells. There are two major types of immunotherapy.

Cytokines, man-made proteins that can activate the immune system. interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-alpha are the mostly used cytokines to make kidney cancer shrink.

Side effects of interleukin-2 (IL-2) are often severe and can sometimes can fatal. Therefore, it is only used upon the doctor’s confirmation. Common side effects of interferon are less serious, including flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle aches), fatigue, and nausea.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors. They are used to tell the immune system when to start or stop an immune response.

Side effects include fatigue, cough, nausea, itching, skin rash, loss of appetite, constipation, joint pain, and diarrhea. The drugs can be life-threatening but it is rare.

 

Keywords: immunotherapy kidney cancer; kidney cancer immunotherapy; immunotherapy renal cancer

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.