Cancer immunotherapy activates T cells and B cells that target specific tumor antigens
The activated immune system is primed to recognize tumor antigens expressed by each patient’s unique and frequently changing population of cancer cells1
Some activated T cells kill tumor cells directly or indirectly1
Some activated T cells activate B cells, which become antibody-producing plasma cells1
Learn more by watching Immunotherapy Is Tumor-Specific (2:03)
Cancer immunotherapy treatment is designed to support the immune system’s ability to adapt its attack over time
Each patient’s population of tumor cells mutates over time, which may result in resistance to traditional
When a tumor cell is killed, additional antigens are released, stimulating activation of new populations of
T cells and B cells that recognize tumor antigens1,2,4,5
This can result in an expanding cascade of immune cells that is able to recognize cancer cells bearing a variety of tumor antigens as the tumor mutates over time3-6
Immunotherapy for cancer stimulates immunologic memory, which may lead to a prolonged anti-tumor response
- Murphy K, Travers P, Walport M, eds. Janeway’s Immunobiology. 7th ed. Garland Science, Taylor & Frances Group, LLC. New York, NY: 2008.
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- Sharma P, Wagner K, Wolchok JD, Allison JP. Nat Rev Cancer. 2011;11(11):805-812.
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- Kirkwood JM, Butterfield LH, Tarhini AA, Zarour H, Kalinski P, Ferrone S. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012;62(5):309-335.
- Disis ML, Strickler JH, Wallace D, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(suppl):(May 20 suppl; abstr 3015).
- Klebanoff CA, Gattinoni L, Restifo NP. Immunol Rev. 2006;211:214-224.
- Mullins DW, Sheasley SL, Ream RM, Bullock TNJ, Fu Y-X, Engelhard VH. J Exp Med. 2003;198(7):1023-1034.