Immunotherapy is a New Generation of Cancer Therapies that are Revolutionizing the Treatment of Melanoma and Many Other Malignancies.
These drugs are significantly different from conventional cancer treatments, which include chemotherapy, radiation and newer medications that target genetic mutations in tumors that spur unchecked cell growth. Instead of attacking the tumors themselves with the aim of killing them, immunotherapies rally the body’s natural defenses and unleash the immune system to vanquish the cancer. There are several molecules on the surface of immune cells that need to be activated to launch an immune response. But because cancer cells share traits with healthy cells, the immune system doesn’t recognize them as aberrant, and cancer cells avoid detection. The new drugs help the body circumvent this bit of subterfuge.