Explore the Science of
Immunotherapy

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  • About Immunotherapy
  • The Benefits
  • CRI's Programs
  • Related News & Programs

Immunotherapy: A Dynamic and Targeted Attack on Cancer

The immune system is capable of dynamically adapting its defenses to any target. These extraordinary capabilities allow immunotherapies to unleash a powerful immune attack on cancer that adapts to the unique and ever-changing characteristics of each tumor, anywhere in the body.

Benefits of Immunotherapy vs Other Treatments

Immunotherapy holds the potential to exceed the results of established cancer treatments, becoming more targeted and more effective than many chemotherapies—with fewer side effects.

What is cancer immunotherapy?

Cancer immunotherapy—treatments that harness and enhance the innate powers of the immune system to fight cancer—represents the most promising new cancer treatment approach since the development of the first chemotherapies in the 1940s.

For more than 60 years, the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) has been the pioneer in advancing this new class of treatment.

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What types of cancers can immunotherapy treat?

Immunotherapy is used to treat all cancers

Immunotherapy enables the immune system to recognize and target cancer cells, making it a universal answer to cancer.

Immunotherapy has been an effective treatment for patients with certain types of cancer that have been resistant to chemotherapy and radiation treatment (e.g., melanoma)

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Does immunotherapy have any side effects?

Immunotherapy may not cause the same side effects as chemotherapy and radiation and may vary depending on which type is used

  • Cancer immunotherapy is focused on the immune system and is often more targeted than chemotherapy or radiation
  • Both chemotherapy and radiation damage healthy cells, commonly leading to hair loss and nausea/vomiting, side effects that may be less likely with immunotherapy
  • They are usually related to stimulation of the immune system and can range from minor symptoms of inflammation to major conditions similar to autoimmune disorders
How long does immunotherapy last?

Cancer immunotherapy offers the possibility for long-term cancer remission

  • Immunotherapy can “train” the immune system to remember cancer cells. This “immunomemory” may result in longer-lasting remissions

  • Clinical studies on long-term overall survival have shown that the beneficial responses to cancer immunotherapy treatment are durable—that is, they can be maintained even after treatment is completed

Benefits of Immunotherapy vs Other Treatments

Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program

CLIP Grants available for qualified scientists working to explore clinical questions aimed at improving effectiveness of immunotherapies.

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