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The Goal of Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

These treatments use substances that are also naturally made by your immune system. They work by killing lymphoma cells or slowing their growth. Or they get your own immune system to more effectively attack the lymphoma cells.

The main type of immunotherapy is called monoclonal antibodies. These drugs are created in a lab. They act like the antibodies your body makes—they attack cells that are harmful to you. The advantage of this treatment is that it targets lymphoma cells precisely. The result is less damage to normal cells, which usually means fewer serious side effects.

Other drugs that boost the body's immune system may also be used to treat certain lymphomas. These include interferons (man-made versions of immune system-boosting proteins) and drugs called immunomodulating agents, such as Revlimid (lenalidomide).