Understanding Immunotherapy

How is immunotherapy different from conventional cancer treatment?

Conventional treatments for cancer include surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. These treatments target cancer directly, aiming to remove cancer, kill or damage cancer cells. Immunotherapy focuses on the body’s immune system, not the cancer itself, using body’s own natural defenses to help fight cancer.

In addition, researches have also shown that, cancer immunotherapy could result in longer-lasting remission as the immune system is trained to remember cancer cells.16Unlike chemotherapy and radiotherapy where effect is short-term and may result in drug resistance, clinical studies show that response to cancer immunotherapy treatment is long lasting and could even be maintained after the treatment is complete.16In short, three main differences about immunotherapy are:

They focus on the body’s immune system, not the cancer itself
They enable the immune system to selectively recognize and attack cancer cells
They give long-lasting memory to the immune system, so that it can continually recognize the cancer over time and provide durable, long-term response against the cancer