Health Alert:

Starting Feb. 29, masking is optional but encouraged in UPMC medical facilities and most patient care settings.

What to Expect During Immunotherapy Treatment

Over the course of your immunotherapy treatment at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, you may receive a single biologic agent or a combination of two or more agents at once.

Based on your type and stage of cancer, we may also combine immunotherapy with other treatments, such as:

Your care team will work together to decide the ideal treatment approach to meet your personal goals and needs.

What Are Biologic Agents?

Biologic agents boost your immune system to fight cancer cells.

These agents include:

  • Colony stimulating factors (CSF)
  • Interferon (IFN)
  • Interleukin
  • Monoclonal antibodies (MoAb)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some biologic agents. Other agents are available only to patients enrolled in clinical research studies, which measure the effects of new cancer treatments.

Your doctor and nurse can explain the benefits of your treatment if you decide to take part in a clinical trial.

How Will I Receive Immunotherapy?

You will receive immunotherapy through a shot.

Your doctor or nurse will inject the biologic agent near the location of the cancer, such as:

  • The skin
  • The veins
  • An organ
  • A cavity of the body

Depending on the immunotherapy you receive, you may need diagnostic tests. And, you may need to spend several hours in the treatment area.

At times, you might need to stay in the hospital for all or part of your treatment.

Contact Us About Medical Oncology and Chemotherapy

To learn more about medical oncology and chemotherapy or to make an appointment, you can: