II. Definitions

  1. Cancer Immunotherapy
    1. Blocks cancer cell proliferation by interfering with specific tumor-related molecules
    2. Contrast with traditional cytotoxic Chemotherapy which non-specifically targets dividing cells

III. Background

  1. Cancer Immunotherapy targets specifc tumor related markers on cells based on Genetic Testing
  2. Imatinib (Gleevec) was the prototype agent first used for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (targets Tyrosine Kinase)
    1. See Small Molecule Inhibitor-Mediated Chemotherapy

IV. Types

  1. Monoclonal Antibody-Mediated Chemotherapy
    1. Example: Rituximab (Rituxan), used in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Rheumatoid Arthritis
    2. Initially targeted to CD20 on immune cells to treat Lymphoma and Leukemia, later for Autoimmune Disease
    3. Targeted to solid tumors (e.g. Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer) , binding extracellular Ligands and receptors
  2. Small Molecule Inhibitor-Mediated Chemotherapy
    1. Example: Imatinib (Gleevec)
    2. Targeted to Tyrosine Kinases, interfering with EGFR, HER2-neu and VEGF
    3. Small molecules that principally act intracellularly, with less Specificity than monoclonal antibodies
  3. Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
    1. Example: Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) targets Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1)

V. Complications

  1. Head and Neck
    1. Pituitary inflammation (hypophysitis)
      1. Occurs with CTLA-4 inhibitors and PD-L1 inhibitors
    2. Dry Mouth
  2. Endocrine
    1. Hypothyroidism
    2. Adrenal Insufficiency
    3. Diabetes Mellitus (autoimmune)
  3. Lung
    1. Pneumonitis
  4. Abdomen
    1. Hepatitis
    2. Pancreatitis
    3. Enterocolitis
  5. Musculoskeletal
    1. Arthralgias
  6. Skin
    1. Rash
    2. Vitiligo

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Related Studies

Ontology: Immunotherapy for cancer (C0278348)

Definition (NCI) Use of techniques, biologically active substances, and procedures to enhance or restore the ability of the host immune system to fight cancer. Also used to lessen adverse effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments.
Concepts Therapeutic or Preventive Procedure (T061)
SnomedCT 373810000, 64644003
Spanish inmunoterapia antineoplásica (procedimiento), terapia con agente biológico para enfermedad maligna, inmunoterapia contra el cáncer, immunoterapia contra el cáncer (procedimiento), inmunoterapia antineoplásica, immunoterapia contra el cáncer, tratamiento de enfermedad maligna con un agente biológico, tratamiento de enfermedad maligna con un agente biológico (procedimiento)
English cancer immunotherapies, cancer immunotherapy, immunotherapy cancer, Biological agent therapy for malignant disease (procedure), Immunotherapy for cancer, Cancer immunotherapy, Immunotherapy for cancer (procedure), Biological agent therapy for malignant disease, Immunotherapy for cancer (regime/therapy)(procedure), Cancer Immunotherapy, Immuno-Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Cancer, General, immunotherapy for cancer