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Biological Treatment for Kidney Cancer

Biological treatment for kidney cancer involves the use of the body's immune system to fight cancer. Substances made in the body (or in a laboratory) are used to boost, direct, or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer. Biological therapy for kidney cancer may cause flu-like symptoms, such as chills, fever, muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Although these problems can be severe, they usually go away after treatment ends.

Biological Treatment for Kidney Cancer: An Overview

Biological treatment for kidney cancer uses the body's natural ability (immune system) to fight cancer. Substances that are made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer. This type of kidney cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.
 
For purposes of this article, the term "kidney cancer" is used to refer to renal cell carcinoma (also known as renal cell cancer), the most common of the kidney cancer types. To read about treatment for other types of kidney cancer, see the following eMedTV articles:
 
 
For patients with metastatic kidney cancer, the doctor may suggest interferon alpha or interleukin-2 (also called IL-2 or aldesleukin). The body normally produces these substances in small amounts in response to infections and other diseases. As biological treatment for kidney cancer, they are made in the laboratory in large amounts.
 

Side Effects of Biological Treatment for Kidney Cancer

Biological therapy for kidney cancer may cause flu-like symptoms, such as chills, fever, muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a skin rash. Although these problems can be severe, they usually go away after treatment ends.
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Treatment for Kidney Cancer

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