Introduction to Immunotherapy
Every day, our immune systems protect us from countless foreign invaders, including bacteria, viruses, and allergens. However, it typically does not target cancer because tumors arise within the body, not outside it. The purpose of immunotherapy is to trick the immune system into recognizing cancer as a foreign invader, thereby activating its sophisticated weaponry against a dreaded killer.
Immunotherapy presents a number of potential advantages over approved oral cancer treatments. Many immunotherapies are designed to precisely target tumor cells without damaging healthy tissue, and they generally produce fewer toxic side effects.
The immune system consists of two different arms:
- The cellular (T-cell based) immune system deploys special killer cells to target and destroy foreign invaders
- The humoral (B-cell based) immune system produces antibodies and carries them through bodily fluids to foreign invaders for destruction
Our product development strategy is to utilize both of these mechanisms to maximize the powerful synergies between them. While cellular immunotherapies have the potential to provide long-term protection against cancer and prevent its recurrence, monoclonal antibodies can confer an immediate shield against the disease. This is especially important when the patient’s immune system is compromised due to treatment, which can initially prevent an adequate cellular response.