Is immunotherapy a better alternative to chemotherapy?

Written by: Professor Hany Eldeeb
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In this article below, distinguished consultant medical and clinical oncologist, Professor Hany Eldeeb, tells us what immunotherapy is and outlines the different types of the cancer-treating therapy.

What is immunotherapy for cancer?

Immunotherapy is a broad category of cancer therapies that triggers the body's immune system to fight cancer cells


What are the different types of immunotherapy?

There are many different types of immunotherapy. These include:


  1. Monoclonal antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitors.
  2. Non-specific immunotherapies.
  3. Oncolytic virus therapy.
  4. T-cell therapy.
  5. Cancer vaccines.


What are the side effects of immunotherapy?

Common side effects include fatigue, fever, headaches, chills, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, muscle or joint aches, diarrhoea, and mild skin reactions. Serious side effects include colitis, hepatitis, kidney failure, pancreatitis, neuropathy, myocarditis, severe infections, skin reactions, Type 1 diabetes, and lung inflammation.


Is immunotherapy a better alternative to chemotherapy?

Immunotherapy can sometimes be given alone as an effective alternative to chemotherapy in selected cases, and given alongside chemotherapy in other circumstances.


Can immunotherapy extend life?

It is well-established scientifically now that immunotherapy extends the survival of cancer patients. The degree of prolonging life varies according to the cancer type, stage, and immune characteristics of the tumours.


To schedule in an appointment with Professor Hany Eldeeb, head on over to his Top Doctors profile today

By Professor Hany Eldeeb
Clinical oncology

Professor Hany Eldeeb is a highly accomplished consultant medical and clinical oncologist based in Milton Keynes and Oxford. He has a vast experience in different types of cancer sites that gives him unique experience in both complex cases and in metastatic cancer and more than one primary.

He treats breast cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, and cancer metastasis from different tumour sites. He has expertise in using target therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, as well as gene sequenced-based therapy. In addition to that, he is also using state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatment including IMRT, IGRT, stereotactic radiotherapy and SABRT.

He is passionate about treating challenging cases, especially in cases that require outside-the-box thinking. Professor Eldeeb graduated in medicine from Mansoura University in 1989. Following this, he was appointed as an oncology registrar. He completed his MSc in 1995 and then undertook the roles of assistant lecturer and specialist in oncology.

He then pursued training at St Bart’s hospital in London and completed his MD in 2001. He has studied tirelessly throughout his career and was awarded a Professorship in Clinical Oncology in 2012. He has been working over the last 20 years as a consultant between Northampton, Milton Keynes and Oxford University Hospitals.

Alongside his focus on breast and lung cancer, Professor Eldeeb takes a keen interest in prostate cancer and brain tumours. He has undertaken many managerial roles in theses trusts and currently is the oncology lead at Milton Keynes and was a key member in establishing the newly opened cancer centre there. He currently leads a developing radiotherapy centre at Milton Keynes that is planned to open in 2024. 

Furthermore, he enjoys sharing his medical knowledge with others, working as an educational supervisor for postgraduate trainees in oncology at Milton Keynes and Oxford University Hospital as well as undergraduate student teaching for Buckingham medical school. Professor Eldeeb is a member of multiple organisations, including the prestigious Royal College of Radiologists, The European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists, The European Society for Medical Oncology, and European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology .

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