Immunotherapy is a biological therapy protocol that helps the immune system fight cancer cells in the human body
Several types of immunotherapy are used to treat cancer. These include:
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors, which are drugs that block immune checkpoints. These checkpoints are a normal part of the immune system and keep immune responses from being too strong. By blocking them, these drugs allow immune cells to respond more strongly to cancer.
- T-cell transfer therapy, which is a treatment that boosts the natural ability of your T cells to fight cancer. In this treatment, immune cells are taken from your tumor. Those that are most active against your cancer are selected or changed in the lab to better attack your cancer cells, grown in large batches, and put back into your body through a needle in a vein.
T-cell transfer therapy may also be called adoptive cell therapy, adoptive immunotherapy, or immune cell therapy.
- Monoclonal antibodies, which are immune system proteins created in the lab that are designed to bind to specific targets on cancer cells. Some monoclonal antibodies mark cancer cells so that they will be better seen and destroyed by the immune system. Such monoclonal antibodies are a type of immunotherapy.
Monoclonal antibodies may also be called therapeutic antibodies.
- Treatment vaccines, which work against cancer by boosting your immune system’s response to cancer cells. Treatment vaccines are different from the ones that help prevent disease.
- Immune system modulators, which enhance the body’s immune response against cancer. Some of these agents affect specific parts of the immune system, whereas others affect the immune system in a more general way.
Your Cancer Health Clinic team and your clinical oncologists are available to discuss this modality of treatment with you.