Some will say that immunotherapy became a household word in 2015. That’s in large part to the significant number of FDA approvals. Checkpoint blockade—called so because they “release the brakes” on the immune system, allowing it to mount a stronger and more effective attack against cancer—was FDA approved for melanoma, lung cancer, and kidney cancer. A new type of immunotherapy—oncolytic virus therapy—got approval in October to treat melanoma. And there are now more than 20 approved antibody-based drugs, including new immunotherapies for neuroblastoma and multiple myeloma. Let’s take a look!
2015 was a great year for cancer immunotherapy, and we expect it to be the same in 2016 and beyond, with more treatments—therapeutic vaccines, CAR T cell therapy—joining the list. Stay tuned!
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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.
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CRI Fellow Dr. Chen Shen is investigating NLRP6, a receptor that can recognize bacteria or viruses and may help protect against cancer.
Dr. Ansuman Satpathy is building a single-cell atlas to help us better understand why immunotherapy succeeds or fails in certain patients.