What is Cancer Immunotherapy ?

Cancer immunotherapy, also known as immuno-oncology, is a form of cancer treatment that uses the power of the body’s own immune system to prevent, control, and eliminate cancer.

Immune cells, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes or TILs, are a sign that the immune system is responding to the tumor.

  What are the types of immunotherapy?
1. Immune checkpoint inhibitors
2. T-cell transfer therapy
3. Monoclonal antibodies
4. Treatment vaccines

Immunotherapy drugs have been approved to treat many types of cancer.

Immunotherapy can cause side effects, many of which happen when the immune system that has been revved-up to act against the cancer also acts against healthy cells and tissues in your body.

Different forms of immunotherapy may be given in different ways. These include: intravenous (IV), oral, topical and intravesical.

Immunotherapy can “train” the immune system to remember cancer cells. This “immunomemory” may result in longer-lasting and potentially permanent protection against cancer recurrence.

Examples of immune checkpoint inhibitors: Atezolizumab (Tecentriq)
Avelumab (Bavencio) Dostarlizumab (Jemperli)
Durvalumab (Imfinzi) Ipilimumab (Yervoy) Nivolumab (Opdivo) Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

T-cell transfer therapy is a type of immunotherapy that makes your own immune cells better able to attack cancer. There are two main types of T-cell transfer therapy: tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes  therapy and CAR T-cell therapy.

Reference: NIH-NCI and CRUK