Immunotherapy

Groundbreaking Cancer Treatments in New Jersey

Cancer treatments have greatly advanced in the past 20 years, and immunotherapy is an exciting new area of cancer research. The emergence of immunotherapy, also called biological therapy or immune-oncology, has proven a very successful cancer treatment, especially for certain types of advanced (metastatic) cancers. As a leader in cancer treatment in New Jersey, RWJBarnabas Health offers immunotherapy as a powerful way to attack cancer by harnessing the power of the immune system to attack cancer.

What Is the Immune System and How Does it Affect Cancer?

The immune system is the body’s defense against infections and diseases. It is mainly made up of white blood cells, organs, and lymph system tissues that work together to detect and destroy abnormal cells. The goal of immunotherapy is to help the body’s immune system by preventing, controlling, or eliminating cancer by activating the body’s natural defenses against cancer. Cancer cells differ from other diseases in that they are less visible to the immune system, or have proteins on their surface that deflect immune cells.

How Does Immunotherapy Work?

Immunotherapy can work in various ways, but the end goal is the same: to help the immune system destroy cancer cells better by using substances made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve the function of the immune system. Patients are usually given immunotherapy via an intravenous drip, but it may also be used orally, or topically.

The main immunotherapy treatment types for cancer patients include:

  • Nonspecific immune stimulation: This stimulates the immune response in a general way. Drugs or other substances are used to increase the patient’s overall immune response to help kill cancer cells. The goal is to prevent the cancer from progressing or coming back.
  • T-cell transfer therapy: T-cells are a type of immune cell. When T-cells are taken from a patient, they are then taken to a laboratory and changed so they are better able to target cancer cells and kill them. These specially changed T-cells are given back to the patient via an intravenous (IV) drip to fight their cancer.
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors: Thesedrugs block immune “checkpoints,” which are a normal part of the immune system that keeps immune responses from being too strong and destroying the body’s healthy cells. When a patient is given immune checkpoint inhibitors, the goal is to help T-cells kill cancer cells by unlocking their ability to detect cancer cells’ altered surface proteins.

Can I Benefit from Immunotherapy?

It depends. Not all cancer types respond as well to immunotherapy as others, and immunotherapy is still not as widely used as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. For example, immunotherapy has proven more successful in treating cancers affecting the lungs, bladder, and skin cancers.

To schedule an appointment with a cancer specialist at our New Jersey hospital, please call 1-844-CANCERNJ.

Patient Stories

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Patient Stories

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Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Howell
4013 Route 9
Suite 2S
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Lakewood
600 River Ave
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 923-7700
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Medical Specialty Services at Bayonne
16 East 29th Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
(973) 926-7280
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The Family Health Center (FHC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
166 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7300
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Colts Neck
310 Route 34 South
Second Floor
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 923-7700
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7700
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Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center
377 Jersey Avenue
Ground Floor, Medical Office Building
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(877) 393-5374
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Community Medical Center Women's Imaging Center - Toms River
368 Lakehurst Rd
1st Floor
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8146
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Westfield
560 Springfield Ave
Westfield, NJ 07090
(973) 322-7020
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Metuchen
173 Essex Ave
Metuchen, NJ 08840
(732) 494-0415
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Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
200 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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Monmouth Medical Center Outpatient Infusion Center
100 State Route 36 West
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 923-6575
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Livingston
200 South Orange Avenue
Suite 102
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7020
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Eric B. Chandler Health Center at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
277 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-6700
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Eric B. Chandler Health Center Church St. Annex
123 Church Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-2052
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
125 Paterson Street.
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-6200
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group at Monroe
800 Bunn Drive
Suite 303
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 655-5178
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group
18 Centre Drive
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(609) 655-5178
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Cancer Center at RWJ Hamilton
2575 Klockner Road
Hamilton Township, NJ 08690
(609) 631-6960
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RWJUH Lab Services at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
First Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 937-8588
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The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-2465
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