A medical oncologist administers chemotherapy or immunotherapy to kill cancer cells. The medical oncologists at ChristianaCare employ the latest advances in cancer-fighting drugs, including the Interleukin 2 (IL-2) therapy for melanoma and kidney cancer, which is available at only a handful of cancer treatment centers around the country.
Chemotherapy, commonly referred to as chemo, uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. It can also stop cancer cells from spreading and slow the growth of cancer cells. Sometimes chemotherapy is used by itself to fight cancer, and other times it is used in conjunction with other treatments such as surgery or radiotherapy.
Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, is a relatively new addition to the family of cancer treatments. Immunotherapy works with your immune system. It can help your body to fight cancer cells, or it can help to control the side effects from other treatments, such as chemotherapy.
Examples of immunotherapy at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute include IL-2 therapy, which involves the injection of a man-made version of a protein that your body uses to fight off infection, and bone-marrow and stem-cell transplants.