ST. GEORGE — Intermountain Healthcare announces the implementation of a cancer immunotherapy program.
“Immunotherapy helps the patient’s immune system in its fight against cancer. Immunotherapy can either take the brakes off the immune system or teach the immune system how to fight,” Terence Rhodes, M.D., Ph.D. and director of immuno-oncology at Intermountain Healthcare, said.
Intermountain Healthcare already delivers approved immunotherapies, yet they are also investing in the future with regard to research and development through the cancer immunotherapy program.
“A handful of immunotherapies have been approved for years for certain types of cancer,” Rhodes said. “However, Intermountain Healthcare has been instrumental in building a program that will provide additional research and clinical trials to cancer patients.”
One of the objectives in immuno-oncology is to help tailor more treatment therapies targeted to work with the body’s immune system for a positive outcome and provide clinical trial opportunities to as many cancer patients as possible.
At Intermountain Healthcare, physicians and scientists are able to perform research and help patients live the healthiest lives possible.
“Because Intermountain Healthcare is an integrated health system, as opposed to an academic center in the traditional sense, at Intermountain we have the opportunity to create partnerships with academic institutions so we can push the therapy forward and bring immunotherapy to more patients,” Rhodes said. “This is somewhat unique for an integrated health system.”
When asked what motivates him in the field of immunotherapy, Rhodes said he is “driven by the chance to tell more and more cancer patients their scans are clear.”
Rhodes will see patients at the Intermountain Cancer Center in St. George. He will also conduct research and development in the field of immunotherapy for Intermountain Healthcare.
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