Cancer immunotherapy is a type of treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. It is based on the idea of harnessing the power of the immune system to recognize and target cancer cells.
There are several different types of cancer immunotherapy, including:
Monoclonal antibodies: These are proteins that are designed to bind to specific proteins on cancer cells. They can help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.
Checkpoint inhibitors: These are medications that block proteins that cancer cells use to evade the immune system. By blocking these proteins, checkpoint inhibitors can help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.
Cancer vaccines: These are vaccines that are designed to stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. They are usually given to people with early-stage cancer or to those at high risk of developing cancer.
Adoptive T cell therapy: This is a type of treatment in which T cells (a type of immune cell) are collected from a patient’s blood and modified in the laboratory to recognize and attack cancer cells. The modified T cells are then returned to the patient’s body to help fight the cancer.
Cancer immunotherapy has shown promise in the treatment of a number of different types of cancer, including melanoma, lung cancer, and leukemia. It is generally well tolerated and can be used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, cancer immunotherapy can also have serious side effects and is not suitable for everyone. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine if cancer immunotherapy is appropriate for you.