Who Qualifies for Immunotherapy?
Only a full assessment and laboratory testing will determine whether you are a good candidate for immunotherapy. Not all types of cancer respond well to this treatment, and lab tests will help determine which type of immunotherapy to use for targeting your cancer. Immunotherapy is a very broad field, and many people qualify for treatment. The FDA has approved over 60 types of immunotherapy drugs.
How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Immunotherapy includes a wide range of different treatments that work with the immune system to target cancer. Some of the most common types of immunotherapy include:
Immune system cells make antibodies that target harmful invaders. Immunotherapy uses antibodies that will specifically target cancer cells. These antibodies can attack the cells or draw the immune system’s attention to eliminate them.
T-cells play a vital role in the immune system. This immunotherapy extracts your T-cells, modifies them to make them better cancer fighters, and returns them to your body.
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Your immune system has natural “on and off” switches telling it when to respond. Cancer cells can switch the checkpoint off to avoid an immune reaction, but this treatment lets the immune system target them.
You may think of vaccines as prevention, but cancer vaccines are a treatment that primes the immune system to launch a more effective attack on cancer cells.
These treatments work in various ways by changing how the immune system behaves, what signaling molecules it sends out, and how it responds to cancer cells.