Immunotherapy treatments for cancer are having a moment.
Some hospitals and health care systems call it a “miracle in the making” and a “game-changer.” It’s a treatment approach that harnesses the body’s own immune system to target and attack a disease, such as cancer.
Immunotherapy can come in many forms — vaccines, antibody or cellular therapies, or drugs — and can be received through an injection, a pill or capsule, a topical ointment or cream, or a catheter.
Ninety-two-year-old former President Jimmy Carter famously received a form of immunotherapy two years ago that he called “the key to success” in his melanoma fight. He had the treatment along with surgery and radiation.Yet as promising as the therapy seems, could the spotlight on immunotherapies detract from other areas of cancer research? Some experts argue yes, while many others don’t seem concerned.
Now, cancer researchers from around the world are convening in Chicago on Friday for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting to discuss various treatment methods, including immunotherapy.