Chemotherapy & Immunotherapy

Chemotherapy and immunotherapy treat your cancer with medicine. You may receive treatment through a pill you swallow. Or, a health care professional may send the medicine into a vein in your body, using a type of treatment called infusion therapy.

Feel confident knowing the Essentia nurse who gives you this treatment is certified in providing chemotherapy and immunotherapy. At many Essentia Health locations, you’ll find private, peaceful infusion rooms with amenities such as heated blankets and massage chairs.


Chemotherapy destroys fast-growing cells in your body, especially cancer cells. Because chemotherapy affects parts of your body other than cancer tumors, you’ll experience some side effects. Take advantage of Essentia support services that make you feel better in body and mind.

Oral Chemotherapy

In the Fargo, North Dakota area and Duluth, Minnesota area, you may work with a special patient navigator who helps you manage oral chemotherapy medicine and its side effects. You’ll learn about:

Intrathecal Chemotherapy

If cancer affects your central nervous system, you may get intrathecal chemotherapy. This approach delivers medicine through a spinal tap or under your scalp.


Immunotherapy, also called biotherapy, uses medicines to make your body’s natural defenses fight cancer. Some types of immunotherapy are targeted therapies. That means they focus on cancer-related cells and leave healthy cells alone.

You’ll notice fewer side effects with immunotherapy than with chemotherapy. You may get immunotherapy as part of a care plan that also includes chemotherapy or radiation.

Your doctor might recommend a checkpoint inhibitor, a type of immunotherapy that lets your immune system respond more strongly than usual. This treatment may help you if you have:

  • Advanced bladder cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Metastatic melanoma
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

Specialty Pharmacy

Find some cancer medicines through Essentia Health-Specialty Pharmacy. Choose to pick up your prescription drugs or receive them by mail or delivery service.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a referral from your oncologist for this service.