One of the most exciting areas of cancer research today is immuno-oncology. Immuno-oncology is based on the concept of harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, and while it’s an approach that scientists first considered more than 100 years ago, recent scientific discoveries and clinical advances have ushered in a truly historical time in cancer research.
Today, PhRMA released a new video highlighting immuno-oncology, which is currently being researched and developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and several other biopharmaceutical companies.
Cancer is clever and has found ways to outwit the immune system. Rather than killing these cancer cells directly with traditional tools like radiation or chemotherapy, immunotherapy seeks to intensify the immune system’s power to eliminate them. Immuno-oncology is already improving outcomes and survival rates for some patients, including melanoma, kidney and lung cancer, and researchers are urgently working to gain new insights into the complex interactions between patients’ immune systems and the cancer cells growing in their bodies with the goal of markedly improving outcomes in many more tumor types.
While the science has advanced rapidly in recent years, there is more work to do. Researchers hope to replace chemotherapy as the first line treatment for many cancers and help as many patients as possible achieve long-term survival. This new treatment approach has the potential to help patients live longer, healthier lives.
Learn more about advancements in science at From Hope to Cures.
Andrew Powaleny Andrew Powaleny is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked at the House Energy and Commerce Committee and later as a communications consultant. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut and proudly sings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, runs with the DC Front Runners and serves on the Alumni Council for The Fund for American Studies. He is also a member of the National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association.