Thursday, March 10, 2016

Immunotherapy for Lymphoma

The Cancer Research Institute has a really nice overview of Immunotherapy for Lymphoma -- all lymphomas, not just Follicular -- with a lot of information about current clinical trials for immunotherapy treatments.

Immunotherapy is very hot right now, and has been for a couple of years, at least in terms of the attention that the media has been paying to cancer treatments. Last month, CAR-T therapies were being talked about a lot. Former President Jimmy Carter has been in the news, too, because of an anti-PD1 immunotherapy treatment that halted his brain cancer. Most newer treatments, from what I can tell, are some form of immunotherapy -- a way of using the body's own immune system to fight the cancer.

The article by The Cancer Research Institute gives a quick, general overview of lymphoma and its current treatments, but then jumps into immunotherapy, discussing the four categories of immunotherapy treatments for lymphoma, and then listing some clinical trials for those treatments.

Those immunotherapies are:
1) Checkpoint inhibitors. I've been writing a lot about these lately. They mess with the processes that cancer cells need in order to grow and stay alive. An example of this is Nivolumab, an anti-PD1 treatment, which has a clinical trial for FL. There seem to be more trials for checkpoint inhibitors than any other type of immunotherapy treatment.
2) Adoptive cell therapy. Immune cells are removed from the patient, changed so they can attack cancer cells, and then put back in to do their job. CAR-T therapy is an example.
3) Monoclonal Antibodies. Like Rituxan. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know something about MABs.
4) Therapeutic Vaccines. These treatments attack cancer cells with particular antigens or targets.

Lots of clinical trials out there, which means the possibility of some nice future treatments.

(Of course, clinical trials need patients. Keep that in mind if you need treatment. Which, of course, I hope isn't going to happen any time soon.)

More on immunotherapy from Lymphomation can be here.

And, hey -- while you're at it, look again at what they have to say about finding and preparing for clinical trials.

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