What is immunotherapy anyway? What you need to know about th
One of the most exciting advancements in cancer treatment in recent years is immunotherapy, which uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer. Many people became aware of immunotherapy when former President Jimmy Carter announced he was successfully treated for metastatic melanoma in 2015, but cancer immunotherapy actually comprises several types of treatments.

The type of immunotherapy Carter received is called an immune checkpoint inhibitor, which essentially works by "uncloaking" cancers, such that tumor cells can be more readily recognized by the patient's own immune system. Cancers often develop sophisticated means to evade immune cells, whose functions are to detect and eliminate foreign or problematic cells throughout the body. Immune checkpoint inhibitors reverse this process by blocking proteins on a class of immune cells called "T cells" that restrict T-cell function. By blocking these proteins, the immune checkpoint inhibitors release these brakes, thus allowing the T cells to attack.

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first checkpoint inhibitor in 2011 to treat metastatic melanoma, six immune checkpoint inhibitors have been FDA-approved to treat a number of different cancer types, including lung, bladder, stomach, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, head and neck, liver, kidney, colorectal, and triple-negative breast cancers. Clinical trials are ongoing at major cancer centers such as the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health, and we expect additional approvals for different cancer types and stages in the future.

Read more: https://www.phillyvoice.com/what-is-cancer-immunotherapy-what-you-need-know/
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