Our team at Virginia Cancer Specialists along with the thousand physicians of The US Oncology Network are focused on joining together to shape the future of cancer care. We believe that we can have the greatest impact by bringing the most advanced care to patients in community-based practices, near where patients live and have support systems. This includes offering breakthrough Immuno-Oncology treatments which are receiving FDA approval and are an important focus for many of the clinical trials now opening for patients.
What is Immuno-Oncology?
Historically, treatment options available for cancer included surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy. Immuno-Oncology - also referred to as I-O therapy or cancer immunotherapy - is showing great promise in the cancer field as a way to treat certain cancers. With “Immuno” as a reference to the immune system, Immuno-Oncology uses drugs known as immunotherapies that target a body’s own immune system to help fight cancer.
Although Immuno-Oncology therapies have been around for 30 years, significant advancements have occurred in the last year. The FDA has approved new I-O therapies for melanoma and lung cancer which are now being used to treat patients. Plus a number of new approvals are expected in the coming year and with over 900 I-O clinical trials active today, more FDA approvals are likely in the future. There is enthusiasm in this area due to the significant number of patients that have had responses and long-lasting remissions that have not previously been seen within cancer care.
How to Access Immuno-Oncology
Today, the best way to access these new I-O therapies is through clinical trials. Virginia Cancer Specialists is well positioned with some of the best trials in this area. Through the support of US Oncology Research, we are often able to open these trials at our practice before they become available in other cancer centers. Our physicians are dedicated to learning about and shaping the newest findings in cancer treatment, and as a result, are able to extend the latest in high-quality care to our patients as soon as new options become available.
If you would like more information, you may speak to your physician about available clinical trials.