Also known as Immunotherapy, biological therapy seeks to trigger your body's natural immune system defenses to combat the growth of cancer cells. Very specific drugs are administered directly into the bladder through the urethra (intravesical therapy) and often used after a TURBT procedure to suppress the risk of cancer recurrence.
Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is an immune-stimulating bacteria often used in tuberculosis vaccines. In some patients, BCG can produce flu-like symptoms, bladder irritation and blood in the urine.
Interferon is a naturally produced protein, used by the immune system to fight infections. A synthetically manufactured version called interferon alfa is often used to treat bladder cancer, and is sometimes used in combination with BCG. Like BCG, interferon alfa can cause flu-like symptoms.
Interferon alpha and interleukin-2 are synthetically manufactured versions of chemicals that your body produces naturally. Side effects of these drugs include flu-like symptoms.
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