Your cancer

Living with the disease

Immunotherapy

What is it ?

When cancer develops, cells are able to avoid the body’s immune system.

Immunotherapy helps the immune system to identify and destroy those cells.

How it works

There are several forms of immunotherapy available:

Immune checkpoint inhibitors

When confronted with microbes, the immune system uses a system of ‘checkpoints’ to speed up or slow down its immune response. During an infection, the immune system accelerates its response in order to eliminate external agents, then slows down once elimination is complete.

Unlike a classic infection, cancer cells have the ability to slow down the immune system, thus avoiding elimination. Checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy blocks this ability, thus reactivating the immune system so it will destroy the cancer cells.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors used today generally target the CTLA-4 protein, the PD-1 receptor, and the PDL-1 ligand.

 

Car T-cells

CAR-T (chimeric antigens receptor-T) cell therapy is an innovative treatment that takes T cells from the patient's body and genetically modifies them to destroy cancer cells.  

Side Effects

The most common side effects are:

Infusion reaction

Fatigue

Skin

Redness and itching

Gastrointestinal

Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting

Endocrine-related symptoms

Respiratory

Cough and shortness of breath

Indications

Immunotherapy treatments are administered intravenously.
They are used for skin cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer,
triple negative breast cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma, lymphomas, and other types of cancer.

However, immunotherapy is not currently a common treatment option,
as many patients are not suitable candidates
and not all cancers respond well.

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