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How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Several types of immunotherapies exist, and each augments your pet’s immune system in a different way:

Immunotherapies in this category stimulate your pet’s immune system.

When your pet’s immune system has developed a tolerance to the cancer, these immunotherapies suppress this tolerance so that the immune system can return to fighting the cancer.

These immunotherapies sensitize your pet’s immune system to the cancer by delivering either a component or a weakened version of the cancer to your pet.

Why Immunotherapy?
Rather than rely solely on external factors, such as radiation and chemotherapy, to treat your pet’s cancer, immunotherapy recruits your pet’s own immune system to take part in the fight against the cancer. Moreover, once your pet’s immune system is involved, it can target cancer in multiple, widespread locations in your pet’s body—something that local treatments, such as surgery and radiation, can’t do.

When can Immunotherapy be Used?
Immunotherapy is typically used in conjunction with other cancer treatments to enhance their success.

Currently, only a handful of immunotherapies are available for certain cancers. However, exciting new research is being conducted in this field and will hopefully broaden the use of immunotherapy in the future.

How is Immunotherapy Administered?
Immunotherapies are a diverse set of medications, ranging from naturally derived compounds to synthetic preparations, and so their administration varies as well. Most immunotherapies are given as injections or infusions.

What About Side Effects?
Because a possible side effect of immunotherapy in people is autoimmune disease, in which the immune system becomes overactive and targets normal cells, a potential for autoimmune disease exists for pets as well. Immunotherapies are otherwise considered safe and are usually tolerated well.