What is cancer immunotherapy?

Reading time: 2 min

Immunotherapy is a set of treatments that stimulate the body's natural defences to fight a disease; in this case, to fight certain types of cancer. For example, immunotherapy can be used to treat some solid tumours, such as breast cancer, and haematologic cancers, such as leukaemia.

Immunotherapy is administered using drugs (which can be produced by the body or in a laboratory) that help improve the function of the immune system. Immunotherapy is considered a new generation therapy and has helped in the treatment of different types of diseases, which until recently were untreatable.

Immunotherapy explained in the first person

Professionals explain the procedure
It is a therapy that has changed the disease course of many tumours.

In which cases should immunotherapy be used?

Currently, immunotherapy is a novel line of treatment. There are few cases in which this type of therapy is performed as a first line of therapy. For example, before patients can receive CAR-T therapy (a specific type of immunotherapy), they must have received at least two previous lines of therapy.

Consequently, this type of therapy is mostly applied when other therapeutic lines such as chemotherapy no longer work. This is known in medical terms as a relapse or refractoriness to treatment. These new modalities, such as immunotherapy, have provided treatment opportunities for patients who did not have them before; thus, extending life and improving its quality.

Substantiated information by:

Mariona Pascal Capdevila
Sergio Navarro Velázquez

Published: 21 September 2023
Updated: 21 September 2023


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