Immunotherapy is a medical treatment for disease that induces and enhances the body’s natural immune response.
Immunotherapy as Treatment for Diseases
The immune system’s natural capacity to detect and destroy abnormal cells helps prevent the development of and treat many cancers. Immunotherapy is also called biologic therapy and is a treatment designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight diseases in the body.
In the past few years, the rapidly advancing field of immunology has produced several new methods of treating diseases that increase the strength of immune responses against tumors. Immunotherapies either stimulate the activities of specific components of the immune system or counteract signals produced by cancer cells that suppress immune responses.
Immunotherapy as Allergy Treatment
Immunotherapy is also used to treat allergies. Immunotherapy can be life-changing for those with food, pet, and environmental allergies and intolerances. It is also helpful those with allergic rhinitis and asthma. The protocol works by exposing the patient to small amounts of the allergen, with the intention of enhancing the immune response slowly over time. The benefits can be astounding, and can last for years after treatment is stopped.
While other allergy treatments (such as antihistamines or corticosteroids) treat only the symptoms of allergic disease, immunotherapy is the only available treatment that can modify the natural course of the allergic disease, by reducing sensitivity to allergens.
The therapy is indicated for people who are extremely allergic or who cannot avoid specific allergens. For example, they may not be able to live a normal life and completely avoid pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, insect venom, and certain other common triggers of allergic reactions. Immunotherapy is generally not indicated for food or medicinal allergies.
Dr. Tim and his staff are one of the few practices in the Atlanta area that are accredited and certified to create and administer immunotherapy treatments. If you would like to learn more about how immunotherapy could help improve your health and quality of life, contact our office to schedule a consultation.