Look to UC San Diego Health for the most advanced immunotherapies to treat your cancer.

We're among a select group of cancer centers nationwide that is actively working to expand your treatment options with new immunotherapy approaches.

What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?

Cancer immunotherapy is a treatment that harnesses your own immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy drugs do not directly target tumors. They activate or train your immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Some immunotherapies are now standard treatment for certain cancers, while others are only available at our Precision Immunotherapy Clinic.

Types of Immunotherapy

We offer many types of immunotherapy to treat your disease. Each works differently, but they all influence your immune system's ability to recognize and fight cancer.

Checkpoint Inhibitors

These are antibodies that interfere with cancer cells' ability to evade immune system attacks. These drugs are used to treat many types of cancer, including melanoma, lung cancer, kidney and bladder cancers, head and neck cancers, and lymphoma.

CAR T-Cell Therapy

This therapy involves collecting and using your own white blood cells to treat your cancer. Your doctor may recommend CAR T-cell therapy for certain non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

Cytokine Therapy

This therapy uses proteins called interferons and interleukins, produced by white blood cells, to activate your immune system to kill cancer cells. Interleukin-2 and interferon alpha are cytokine therapies for melanoma, kidney cancer, and certain blood cancers.

Cancer Vaccines

Cancer vaccines help the body recognize and more effectively destroy cancer cells. Some treatment vaccines are injections. Others require doctors to collect blood, enrich it with cells, and then re-infuse the mixture intravenously. Treatment vaccines are only available through participation in a pilot research study or clinical trial.

Precision Immunotherapy Clinic

Patient & Family Support Services

At UC San Diego Health, your care goes beyond treating disease. It also includes supporting you and your loved ones emotionally throughout your cancer journey. Most of our support services are free.

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