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Immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

Immuno­­therapy for Cancer Treatment

Think of your body’s immune system as a powerful workhorse.

Every day, it singles out — and fights off — invaders like bacteria, viruses and fungi. But did you know that your immune system can even help treat cancer? Immunotherapy boosts your immune system’s protective power.

If you’re diagnosed with a cancer that may respond to immunotherapy, Cleveland Clinic is here to help. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about this effective treatment and how it may work for you. Our team will build a personalized immunotherapy plan so you can get the best possible results.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment?

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Trusted experts:

From our labs to our patients’ bedsides, Cleveland Clinic is moving immunotherapy ahead with a team-based approach. Our experts in biomedical research, developmental therapeutics and patient-centered medicine work together to uncover and deliver even more effective treatments by harnessing your immune system. Our research and clinical trials help us keep this momentum going.

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Specialized knowledge:

Our team knows how to use your immune system to treat cancer. We continue to advance immunogenic profiling, cell engineering and T-cell therapies for patients. And we look for new ways to take this care (and our knowledge) to further heights in our labs, shared research platforms and other programs.

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Recognized expertise:

Our experts in immunotherapy continually publish hundreds of articles in high-impact, peer-reviewed medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Cancer Discovery, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature Biotechnology and others.

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Trusted leaders:

Cleveland Clinic immunotherapy providers and researchers have earned prestigious awards and grants from institutions like the National Cancer Institute for their landmark discoveries. Federal and foundation awards and industry contacts let our immunotherapy team find out why our treatments attack some types of cancer —and look for other types to target, too.

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Innovation and research:

We’re part of the CWRU Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is the top, second-accruing lead academic participating site for NRG Oncology cooperative trials dedicated to ongoing immunotherapy research. Providers use genomics, immunoprofiling and clinical trials to develop new immunotherapy treatments. We hope to someday offer highly personalized, precision immunotherapy to all patients who need it.

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Personalized care:

As we continue to find more effective ways to develop and deliver immunotherapy treatments, we’ll keep working to customize them for each patient. When it comes to treating different types of cancers, this is a particularly important focus area.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

Understanding How Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment Works

Your immune system is your body’s defense system. It works to fight off invaders. When your body makes abnormal cells, they can avoid your defense system. This is where immunotherapy can help. Immunotherapy includes many types of treatments that use your own immune system to treat many types of cancer.

Types of cancer immunotherapy can treat

Traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation have proven effective at killing cancer cells in solid tumors. But they aren’t selective, so they often kill healthy cells, too. We often use immunotherapy to treat bladder, colorectal, kidney, esophageal, and head and neck cancer. Other cancers that respond to immunotherapy include:

Meet Our Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment Team

When you get immunotherapy treatment for cancer at Cleveland Clinic, you’ll have a care team of expert providers selected based on your specific diagnosis. You’ll have oncologists overseeing your treatments, who’ll work closely with other specialists to make sure you get the most personalized care for the best possible results.


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations in Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatments at Cleveland Clinic

Immunotherapy treatments can be combined with other treatments like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. You may have multiple immunotherapy treatments in your care plan to achieve the best results. You may have:

Cancer vaccines

Cancer vaccines encourage your immune system to attack abnormal cells. There are two types — therapeutic vaccines and preventive vaccines. Therapeutic vaccines treat diagnosed cancer and are currently part of many clinical trials. Preventive vaccines reduce your risk of certain cancers by stopping the viruses (like HPV) that cause them.

Cell therapy

Cell therapy uses modified immune cells to treat cancer. In one form, CAR T-cell therapy, we remove your immune cells, genetically engineer them to fight more effectively and then return them to your body with an intravenous (IV) infusion. This process helps the cells better target and kill abnormal cells. Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy is another form of cell therapy that we can use to treat cancers like melanoma.

Checkpoint inhibitors

Your immune system has natural checkpoint proteins that control how your body responds to threats like cancer cells. These checkpoints prevent your immune system from attacking your healthy cells and tissues. Checkpoint inhibitors can also block these proteins to help your immune system better recognize and fight cancer cells. These drugs are very important to how we treat many cancers.


Immunomodulators change your body’s immune response. They make your immune system fight harder against abnormal cancer cells.

Targeted antibodies and ADCs

We can also use a type of therapeutic called antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) to treat cancer. These are antibodies that target tumors and deliver medications that kill abnormal cells and slow or stop cancer growth. ADCs are built on the foundations of monoclonal antibody therapy.

Taking the Next Step

When you have cancer, you may think a lot about the future. So do we. That’s why we keep moving hope forward with advances in powerful immunotherapy treatments. These treatments can help you get better results — and improve your quality of life — when you’re making your way through the diagnosis and treatment process.

Getting an appointment with one of our immunotherapy experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with one of our immunotherapy experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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Billing & Insurance

Manage your Cleveland Clinic account. Find billing information and financial assistance, plus FAQs.

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Woman with a shaved head due to chemotherapy treatment is hopeful following remission.


Learning you have cancer can be stressful, shocking and challenging. From the moment you get the news, you're a survivor. As you face the challenges that go along with cancer treatment and recovery — physical and emotional — we’ll be right there with you.

At Cleveland Clinic, survivorship care is one part of your journey. We offer a wide range of services, resources, clinics and support groups to help with any physical, emotional, financial and spiritual needs you might have related to your cancer diagnosis. Lending a helping hand along the way, we want you to not only survive, but thrive on this journey and beyond.

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