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RA and Immunotherapy

Has anyone gone through immunotherapy with their RA? Asking for this is one of my options for follow-up cancer treatment, but there is a question about it effecting the RA and making it worse. Any imput would be greatly appreciated.

  1. I also had cancer with RA - lymphoma to be exact. I had part of my treatment tended with the cancer and I was given Rituxan - ironically both a rheumatoid arthritis drug and, apparently, a cancer drug as well. It put me in remission, though, so I can’t really complain. The thing is, in over thirty plus years of RA, I still cannot predict what will or will not set my disease off. I have boiled it down to trial and error. I know that’s not the answer you wanted but it is what it is in my case. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

    1. Thank you for your input. Trial and error is something I am use to but like you said would prefer not to. I have been given three options and I don't like any of them LOL... oh side effects and such, but the alterative is worse... Thank-you so much for chiming in!

    2. Any time! Please remember that you never have to go through it alone! Hopefully whatever you choose ends up being the right path. Well, the righter path than the others haha. 😂 DPM

  2. Hi . Unfortunately, it is not surprising that there is a fear that immunotherapy for cancer might cause your RA to flare. As your doctors may have described, the immunotherapy ramps up the immune system to get it to help fight the cancer, which in your case may also ramp up the autoimmune condition. I do want to share with you this article from the MD Anderson Cancer Center on research into treating cancer patients who have autoimmune conditions with immunotherapy: https://www.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/can-immunotherapy-treat-cancer-in-patients-with-autoimmune-diseases.h00-159461634.html. This article is a couple of years old so it may be worth asking your doctors if it is known what has come of this research. Wishing you the best. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

    1. Hi . I know you are familiar with 's story and this sounds a lot like his experience - treat, monitor, and see what happens. I can tell you I'm familiar with some great success stories with immunotherapy, including my wife's uncle who had small cell lung cancer metastasized to his liver and is now in remission due to immunotherapy. Of course, this is anecdotal evidence, but hope you see great results and the RA stays controlled. Please feel free, if you like, to keep us posted on how things are going. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

    2. I am in remission as said, and currently the prognosis is good. I know it can be scary, and that is always going to happen with the drugs and treatments we have to chose from, but it does help. At least in my case. Let me know if you have any other questions! Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

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