Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology November 24, 2016  

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors – the Role They Play In Immunotherapy

Dear Friend,

"Immune checkpoint inhibitors" is a term increasingly heard in reference to advancements in immunotherapy for cancer. These drugs have shown the ability to aid your body's own immune system in attacking and killing cancer cells.

Lifting the Disguise from Cancer Cells

Think of checkpoints as your internal customs agents. Checkpoint proteins help the immune system differentiate between normal cells and foreign cells, then trigger a defensive response against the invaders.

Cancer cells sometimes have larger amounts of proteins than found in normal cells, which provide a camouflage allowing them to grow and divide without interference from the immune system. Checkpoint inhibitors target the appropriate proteins, removing the "mask" so the immune system can do its job.

Types of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

• PD-1, which is found on T-cells, acts as a checkpoint by binding itself to another protein called PD-L1, letting the T-cells know they should leave the other cells alone.

• Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) target PD-1 on the T-cells.

• Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) targets PD-L1, the protein that helps cancer cells evade the immune system.

• Ipilimumab (Yervoy) targets CTLA-4, another protein found on T-cells.

These drugs have been successfully used to treat kidney cancer, melanoma, bladder cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-small cell lung cancer. Research continues on other types of cancer, using these drugs independently as well as in combination with other drugs.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Immunotherapy for Cancer

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are just one of the cutting-edge treatments used at Issels®. Our individually designed protocols may also include cancer vaccines and activation of natural killer cells. Contact us to learn more about our non-toxic, state-of-the-art protocols.

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors – the Role They Play In Immunotherapy

Read more interesting articles on the "Issels Cancer Immunotherapy" news/blog posted every Tuesday and Thursday. Check It Out Now »

Non-Specific Cancer Immunotherapy Stimulates the Immune System

Targeted cancer therapies work by directly interacting with molecules that aid the growth and spread of cancer cells. Non-specific immunotherapy for cancer acts behind the scenes to bolster the immune system's ability to fight cancer cells.

Some non-specific therapies are administered on their own, while others are used as an adjutant, which means they are used to supplement a main treatment such as a cancer vaccine. A few therapies are used in both ways, depending on the form of cancer being treated.

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Monoclonal Antibodies – The Role They Play In Cancer Immunotherapy

Just as there are many different types of antigens, there are many types of cancers. MAbs have been shown to be effective against certain types of cancer. The challenge has been that the MAbs must be tailored to go after the right antigen, and that is causing a delay in using this treatment for all types of cancer. Even so, research is ongoing and experts are hopeful that this new protocol might bring us one step closer to finding a cure.

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Videos – What Do Patients Say About Their Experience?

Watch videos of patients who share their own experiences at the Issels clinics with you. Listen to their stories and cancer journeys.

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