Immunotherapy continues to be researched for cancer treatment.
If the human immune system was a powerful racing car, you could say that scientists in the past few years have gained unprecedented control over how to make it accelerate, and what causes it to slow or stop. This knowledge has spawned new immunotherapy drugs that are delivering dramatic benefits to some patients with advanced cancers.
“Checkpoint blockers are transformational,” asserts Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber and a prominent immunologist, referring to drugs that disable the brakes that cancer cells use to fend off an attack on them by immune system T cells.
“The idea that you can take someone who has stage IV metastatic cancer and halt the cancer – and manage it more like a chronic disease…it’s remarkable,” Glimcher says.
“However,” she adds, “it’s just the tip of the iceberg.” Beyond the impressive but limited successes of recent immunotherapy advances lies the potential to bring the strategy to more patients and more kinds of cancer.
The iceberg’s tip also represents current knowledge of the powerful immune system’s intricate and complex set of controls. Much of what will be needed to shape and steer the immune attack against cancers remains to be discovered.
Read full article: The Progress of Cancer Immunotherapy: The Tip of the Iceberg – Insight
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