Immunotherapy

A treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. This can be done in a couple of ways: stimulating your own immune system to work harder or smarter to attack cancer cells; giving you immune system components, such as engineered immune system proteins. Some types of immunotherapy are also sometimes called biologic therapy or biotherapy. [From https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/immunotherapy/what-is-immunotherapy.html]

  • Cold tumours: tumours that for various reasons contain few infiltrating T cells and are not recognized nor provoke a strong response by the immune system. This makes them difficult to treat with current immunotherapies.
  • Hot tumours: tumours where T cells are present and can be more easily mobilized against the cancer by current immunotherapies.

Research is underway on how to enhance immunotherapy to activate the immune system to destroy cancer cells, thereby turning immunologically “cold” tumours into “hot” ones.