What if you can use your own body to fight cancer? Studies show you may be able to with biologic therapy. Also known as biotherapy or immunotherapy, biologic therapy has been tested as a form of prostate cancer treatment. Through this treatment, a patient's immune system is used to fight the cancer. For this therapy, doctors focus on the biological response modifiers (BRMs), such as antibodies and growth factors, which are naturally produced by the body or can be enhanced in a lab. BRMs work to boost the immune system, restore the body's natural defenses, and direct them toward destroying the cancerous cells.
Boost Immunity to Kill Cancer
Everyone’s immune system is a complex network of cells and organs that are supposed to work together in defending the body against “foreign” attacks which lead to infection and disease, including cancer. Typically, the immune system recognizes the difference between which cells are healthy and cancerous and works to eliminate the cancerous ones. Unfortunately, cancer cells are not always recognized as “foreign” by the immune system, or cancer may develop when the immune system isn’t functioning properly. Therefore, biological therapies are designed to repair, stimulate, or enhance the immune system's responses in order to function correctly and destroy the cancerous cells.
In addition to making cancer cells more recognizable to the immune system, some forms of biologic therapy have been used to treat prostate cancer that has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body. Biologic therapy has also been used when trying to diminish certain side effects caused by other prostate cancer treatments. However, like all prostate cancer treatments, biologic therapy has side effects as well. Patients may develop flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and allergic reactions to certain biological therapies. All aspects of biologic therapy should be discussed with your doctor to determine whether or not it’s the best prostate cancer treatment option for you.