WHAT IT IS
Immunotherapy is one of the most discussed forms of cancer treatment.1
There are "targeted" and "general" immunotherapy options.
Targeted immunotherapy blocks the growth and spread of cancer.
- Your immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to destroy unnatural bacteria, viruses, or abnormal or unhealthy cells.
- Cancer will trick your immune system to not attack it because it develops from normal cells. Your body is unable to naturally recognize and attack the start of a deadly mutation.
- Immunotherapy can be given through vaccines, pills, or ointment.12
General vs. targeted options...
A form of targeted immunotherapy, administered through a needle injected into the vein.
A form of general immunotherapy, administered through capsules that you swallow.
A form of general immunotherapy, administered through a cream that you rub onto your skin.
WHY IT MATTERS
Through scientists’ rapid advancements in immunotherapy, cancer patients are provided with a new possibility of beating the disease while also opening the door for more research in cancer therapy.
THE CURE ALL
Immunotherapy trains the immune system to fight specific cancer cells.11 Once the immune system learns how to fight the disease, it can more easily attack it again if it comes back.
Immunotherapy can be a safer alternative that is less abrasive on the body with fewer side effects, unlike chemotherapy and radiation.3
A study by the Institute of Cancer Research in London discovered that the immunotherapy drug "Nivolumab" increased the longevity of life for head and neck cancer patients.4
JUST ONE OPTION
Breaking the bank
As of 2016, immunotherapy treatments can cost a patient over $100,000 a year.5
Risky and costly
In 2016, a failed clinical trial of an immunotherapy drug cost pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb $20 billion dollars.6
Read the label
While symptoms can be milder than other cancer treatments, some immunotherapy drugs can lead to chronic arthritis.7
WHERE WE ARE NOW
Immunotherapy works better with certain types of cancers than with others.13
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg–Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy found hopeful patient responses to a newly developed immunotherapy drug.8
In June 2017, patient David Dunnington was treated only with immunotherapy after being diagnosed with melanoma. He was able to make a full recovery.9