How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Many immunotherapy treatments take advantage of antibodies. B cells produce antibodies to target bacteria, viruses, and other invaders, but they can be triggered to start targeting cancer cells. Immunotherapy also uses other components of the immune system. These include killer T cells and macrophages to destroy cancer cells or helper T cells and cytokines to coordinate a more effective immune response.
How Long Does it Take for Immunotherapy to Work?
A typical cycle of immunotherapy lasts two to three weeks, with most people undergoing several cycles. After your immunotherapy treatment, your body needs time to respond and develop a new fleet of cancer-fighting immune system cells. As a result, it often takes two months or more before you start to see results. Your immune system will respond more actively after each treatment cycle.
How Well Does Immunotherapy Work?
Immunotherapy research progresses every day, and treatments become more effective. Cancer researchers see immunotherapy as a field that will continue to develop and become more critical in the fight against cancer. People who have a type of cancer responsive to immunotherapy have a 20% to 50% response rate. Researchers expect that this will continue to improve as research advances rapidly.