Cancer consists of >100 distinct diseases that manifest in approx. 200 cell types, all with diverse genetic/mutational etiologies. Approximately 5-10% of cancers are due to genetic inheritance. The majority of cancers (70-90%) are the result of environmental risk factors including diet, smoking habit, infections such as HPV and hepatitis, and exposure to environmental factors such as UV light, ionizing radiation or water-, air-, and soil pollutants.
Immunotherapeutic approaches to treat cancer are rapidly making headway and it has been stated as the breakthrough of the year 2013 by Science magazine. It is based on the generally-accepted hypothesis that the immune system is the best tool humans have to fight diseases, including cancers.
But with so many factors that underlie the development of cancer and so many different cancer types, how do you find the best immunotherapeutic approache to fight cancer? Let our document tools, full of guides, protocols, webinars and more, help you making progress in finding the cure for cancer!
Active immunotherapy: immune cell-mediated cell killing
Immuno-oncology research has focused on the use of the patient's immune system to kill cancer cells. Active immunotherapies are strategies that attempt to stimulate the patient's immune system in such a way that immune cells, such as NK-cells or cytotoxic T-cells, recognize the tumor cells again and kill them effectively.
Passive immunotherapy: use of monoclonal antibodies
Passive immunotherapy strategies do not rely on the human body's immune system to fight diseases as they don't require an active respons of the immune system to foreign body cells. Passive immunotherapy includes the administration of immune system components, such as antibodies, and is a so-called targeted therapy: the antibody is directed to a single and specified target on a cancer cell. Binding to the antibody induces cancer cell lysis by recruited immune cells.
Passive immunotherapy : adoptive Cell Therapy
Adoptive cell therapy does not include antibody administration, but involves the passive transfer of (genetically-engineered) mature circulating immune cells, of which T-lymphocytes are the most widely used cell type. The basis of adoptive cell therapy lies on the isolation of cells that are reinfused into the patient to more effectively target cancer cells. Cells can be genetically engineered prior to reinfusion to gain avidity against cancer cell antigens. Binding of both cell types induces cancer cell lysis.