Immunotherapy Introduction

Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that enhances the efficacy our own immune system to fight against cancer cells.

The function of the immune system is to identify foreign cells and kill them. Cancer cells utilize various mechanisms to evade the immune system and thereby avoid cell death.

These include:

  • genetic alterations that make them less visible to the immune system
  • expression of specific antigens on the cell surface that can switch off the immune response

Immunotherapy aims at overcoming the above-mentioned hurdles and cause cancer cell death.


There are different types of immunotherapies available. The choice of immunotherapy depends on the type and stage of the cancer.

  • Immune check point inhibitors
    • This includes drugs against PD1, PDL1 and CTLA4 antigens
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Adoptive T cell therapy
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