Background: Cancer immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment which effectively harnesses the natural ability of the immune system to fight against cancer cells. This approach takes into consideration the fact that cancer cells express various types of antigens on their surface. Such tumor antigens can be detected by the immune system. However, cancer cells normally develop resistance to the defensive mechanisms presented by the immune system. Thus, cancer immunotherapy has some challenges in its path but due to its impressive clinical effectiveness, it is considered as the potential and effective mode of treatment for cancer.
Methods: We searched the scientific database using cancer, immunotherapy, and tumor antigens as the keywords. Herein, only peer-reviewed research articles were collected which were useful to our current work.
Results: Cells responsible for incurring natural immunity to the body are engineered in such a way that they become able to efficiently recognize and bind to tumor antigens. Such type of immunotherapy is referred to as active immunotherapy. Another type is passive immunotherapy, which involves the process of modifying the existing natural immune responses against cancer cells. A hybrid type of immunotherapy has also been developed which involves the combinative use of both active and passive immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy has so far proven to be an effective treatment for cancer as this therapy primarily aims at attacking cancer cells and not the healthy body cells lying in close vicinity to them.
Conclusion: In the review, we described the significance of immunotherapy in the management of various types of cancer.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.7-suppl_3-20] [PMID: 12165652]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.92.17.8078] [PMID: 7644541]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1389201019666180418095526] [PMID: 29667553]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-065X.2009.00767.x] [PMID: 19426218]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.seminoncol.2015.05.003] [PMID: 26320058]