If you've been following the cancer research world in the last year or two, you know that Immunotherapy has been getting lots of people excited.
If you havcen't been following the cancer research world, and you don't know much about Immunotherapy, here's your chance!
MedicalXpress has a nice article on the basics of Immunotherapy -- how and why it works, and why it holds so much promise.
Basically, researchers have discovered that cancer happens because the body's immune system gets turned off, so it doesn't recognize cancer cells as things that don't belong. The research focuses on why that happens, and how to make it stop. Specifically, the research has so far been focused on proteins such as PD-1 (probably the best known) that appear on T-cells (part of the immune system that is supposed to attack invaders), and keep them from doing their job. The researchers have developed anti-PD-1 antibodies, which block PD-1 and allow T-cells to do their clean-up work.
It's fascinating research, really, and a very different approach than traditional chemo. Instead of killing the cancer cell, it tries to chip away at the different small things that a cancer cell needs to grow and survive. Much more targeted, and ideally leading to better responses with fewer side effects.
So while this article isn't about Follicular Lymphoma, it does provide a nice introduction (and, to me, a lot of hope) to the way cancer treatments are going. There is already work being done on immunotherapy in lymphoma; no doubt we'll see more in the future.