Useful Information About Immuno‑Oncology (I‑O)

Now that you know more about Immuno‑Oncology, you might be wondering what I‑O may mean for you or your loved one. The following questions are intended to give you useful information about I‑O research and treatment options.

Click to download an informative guide that includes information about preparing for treatment visits, including questions to ask your cancer care team.

What is a biomarker?

“Bio” refers to something in the body, and “marker” refers to something that can be identified or measured through testing. Read more about biomarkers.

Where can I find information about I‑O clinical trials?

You can find information on BMS clinical trials through Bristol Myers Squibb Study Connect. You can also search for clinical trials that extend beyond those sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb on

Is there an I‑O treatment option available for my cancer type?

There is a considerable amount of research underway that studies Immuno‑Oncology approaches across several types of cancers. The hope is that this research may possibly lead to additional I‑O treatment options for different cancer types.

Please work with your healthcare team as your doctor is the main source of information about your treatment.

What if my doctor hasn't brought up the idea of I‑O or clinical trials to me yet?

Immuno‑Oncology is a rapidly evolving field with new research happening all the time. If your doctor hasn't discussed clinical trials or the newest developments in I‑O with you, you can always bring up the topic yourself. Keep in mind that clinical trials or I‑O treatments aren't right for everyone or every cancer type.

What's the best way to talk to my doctor about I‑O?

You can consider asking the following questions to get the conversation started:

  • Have you considered Immuno‑Oncology as a treatment option for me?
  • Is Immuno-Oncology only used after other treatments have failed?
  • Are there Immuno‑Oncology treatment options currently available for my cancer type?
  • Am I eligible for an Immuno-Oncology clinical trial?
  • What are the side effects of an Immuno-Oncology treatment?
  • How does Immuno‑Oncology work?
  • Is Immuno‑Oncology only for advanced cancers?

Where can I find more educational information about I‑O?

This site is regularly updated with new content, so be sure to check back often for information on the latest developments in Immuno-Oncology.

Be sure to check out our list of additional I-O resources that can provide you with even more information.

Where can I find emotional support?

There are many online support communities for patients undergoing various cancer treatments. Be sure to ask your doctor about any local support communities, as well. Click here for some suggestions.

It's important to know that you're not alone. Hear personal stories from patients just like you.

What can I do to cope?

Your emotional well-being is just as important as your physical health. There are many ways for you to take care of your emotional health, such as:

  • Talking to your care team
  • Talking to friends and family
  • Talking to a counselor
  • Finding local or online support groups
  • Finding time for yourself
  • Setting aside quiet time
  • Journaling
  • Going for a walk
  • Getting fresh air
  • Meditating
  • Exercising
  • Resting

It is common for patients to seek support from other people. If there are aspects of your therapy that you are uncomfortable sharing with those closest to you, consider speaking with others in your community, such as:

  • Friends and family
  • Your healthcare team
  • Therapists
  • Support groups
  • Fellow patients
  • A religious advisor

What side effects should I expect when taking an I‑O treatment?

You should contact your healthcare team if you have any questions about I-O and its possible side effects. Your care team is the best source of information when it comes to your health.

What can I do to play an active role in treatment?

Prepare for appointments

Stay informed. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Write them down as they come to you and bring them to your appointments. Record your progress and any side effects daily. Sometimes the amount of information you receive at each appointment can be overwhelming. Consider asking your doctor if you can record your visits so you can listen to the conversation again later.

Bring back up

A friend or family member can act as a second set of ears and eyes at an appointment. They may also have their own questions for your healthcare team.

Be organized

Be sure to attend all appointments. Call ahead to confirm the appointments and find out what you need to bring.

Stay in touch

Remember, you are not alone in your fight against cancer. As you learn more about your treatment, try to anticipate your tasks and think about who can help you. For example, someone could help you plan in advance for getting to and from the clinic.

Engage your community

Allow others to take part in your journey and learn from their experiences and insights. Talking with cancer survivors, support groups, and your healthcare team will help you understand the problems you might encounter and how to overcome them.

Report your symptoms

For fear of being a nuisance, some patients are reluctant to report side effects to their healthcare team. Do not hesitate! Your team is there to help you and they need to be fully informed to provide the best care possible. Tracking your side effects is key to monitoring your progress.

Guides for Patients and Caregivers

Videos and downloads to help you ask the right questions and understand how
I-O may work
differently from other cancer treatments.