Immunotherapy is emerging as a novel modality for controlling cancer and has been proposed as becoming the fourth cornerstone of cancer treatment along with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Compared to other systemic therapies, immunotherapy relies on the immune system and has the potential to overcome cancer evasion mechanisms and provide long-term cancer control or even cure.
Immunotherapy is distinct from other treatment modalities; instead of directly targeting the tumor, it aims at strengthening or triggering the immune system to respond to the malignancy. The potential for long-term immune memory contributes to the prevention of relapse and even a life-long cure. Harnessing the inherent immune system in the patient body can potentially lower acute toxicity to normal tissue compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Intense research has led to increased understanding of the mechanisms of immunosurveillance and helped with the development of novel therapies that augment the immune response in innovative ways.
This series is designed to educate healthcare professionals on current and emerging scientific data and to ensure that members of a multidisciplinary team, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other relevant healthcare professionals, have the knowledge and skills necessary to apply the standards of care to their practice and healthcare setting when managing patients with kidney cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, or melanoma who are being treated with immunotherapies.