Immuno-Oncology and Immunotherapy

Our immune system is a complex network of organs, cells, and molecules that protects us from foreign substances—such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses—that can cause infection. In addition to finding and destroying foreign substances, the immune system can also locate and attack abnormal cells.

There are two main parts of the immune system:

  • Innate immunity, a defense system we are born with, is the ability of the body to immediately protect itself against foreign organisms and toxins.
  • Adaptive immunity is a learned defense system that develops in response to exposure to a specific foreign substance. The adaptive immune system works in one of two ways:

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve how your immune system works to find and destroy cancer cells Different types of immunotherapy work in different ways. Some immunotherapy treatments help the immune system stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. Others help the immune system destroy cancer cells or stop cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. Immunotherapy treatments can be used alone or combined with other cancer treatments.

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