Cell therapies are a type of immunotherapy1
Several types of immunotherapies are used to treat cancer, and others are being investigated in clinical trials.
The principal types work as follows:
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors block the immune system’s checkpoints that normally prevent T cells from attacking cancer cells.
- Monoclonal antibodies help the immune system stay active to recognize and attack cancer by targeting specific sites on the surface of cancer cells and marking them for destruction
- Therapeutic vaccines help increase the immune response by introducing cancer-specific antigens (not typically found on noncancerous cells) to the body.
- Immune system modulators help enhance the immune response against cancer using natural immune-regulating agents such as interferons or interleukins.
- Cell therapies are a novel approach to treating cancer: immune cells are collected from the patient, genetically modified (in some therapies), expanded in number, and given back to the patient, where they can attack cancer cells.