Also known as immuno-oncology, this cancer treatment is designed to harness and enhance the power of the body’s own natural immune response.
Essentially, the body’s own immune system is already equipped to attack cancer cells, but scientists discovered that one of the reasons that does not always happen is because the cancer cells can go unnoticed by the immune system and because the immune system is programmed not to attack healthy cells, the unnoticed dangerous cells quickly multiply.
Immunotherapy is about helping the body to notice and identify the diseased cells and then providing the fighter cells with more power to attack the rogue cells.
The process involves reprogramming the immune system, turning some responses off and turning others on.
Immunotherapy comes in many different forms, including special antibodies, vaccines, viruses that are designed to infect tumours, and a range of inhibitors and genetic engineering. There are many different trials and advances in this field underway, so new treatments are constantly becoming available.
Immunotherapy is often used with other types of treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation.
Learn more about Hollywood Private Hospital Cancer Care