Biological Therapy is a form of breast cancer treatment that strengthens the patients' immune system. This form of therapy helps fight cancer, but it also controls side effects from other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. Many of the biological treatments are still in the experimental stage.
Biological therapy and chemotherapy are both treatment methods for fighting cancer, but they work in different ways. Where chemotherapy is an aggressive drug, that attacks breast cancer; biological therapy strengthens the patients' immune system and uses antibodies to attack cancer cells. Doctors have not yet been able to determine how biological therapy helps the immune system, but they believe that biological therapy:
- Helps stop or slow the growth of cancer cells by sticking to special receptors on the cells
- Makes it easier for the immune system to destroy, cancer cells by signaling its own natural killer cells to attack
- Can work with chemotherapy medications, stopping damaged cancer cells from repairing themselves.
Despite the fact that this form of therapy is labeled biologic, the medication can have side effects, such as:
- Allergic reactions
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever or Chills
Examples of drugs used for biological therapy: