Biologic therapy may be given as
pills, by injection, or through an IV (intravenous) line.
There are 2 main lab-made proteins (cytokines) used in biologic therapy for kidney cancer. They act like natural proteins to turn on the immune system. These cytokines are:
Interferon alpha is most often given with another medicine called bevacizumab. If you take interferon, you may need it for a long time. It's common to take it for several years, as long as it is working and the side effects aren't too severe. You'll most likely get it as a daily injection. You can get this as an outpatient at a hospital, clinic, or healthcare provider’s office. This means you go home the same day. Or you may learn how to give it to yourself at home.
Interleukin-2 only works in a small
number of people. But it gives longer-lasting effects when it works. Low or medium doses
of Interleukin-2 may be given as outpatient therapy. High doses may work better for some
people. High-dose therapy is given in a hospital with experience using the
New types of immunotherapy
medicines called checkpoint inhibitors are being used. They help by boosting the immune
response and rejecting the cancer cells. They are also being used to treat kidney
cancers that grow after getting other treatments.