History of cancer immunotherapy

It has been a long time since the very first clinical use of the immnotherapy for cancer treatment, even the immune system was not well understood by the medical professionals. In the late 1800s, Dr. William Coley, MD, from New York started to infect cancer patients with certain types of bacteria in order for a better treatment outcome, the bacteria was known as Coley Toxins. He had some success, but when other forms of treatment methods, such as radiotherapy, showed better outcome, this technique was then given up.

History of cancer immunotherapy

The sucess of Dr. Coley’s treatment led to research into the immune system and how it can fight against cancer. In the last few decades, scientists made many kinds of approaches for the treatment of cancer, the immunotherapy played an important role in the treatment of several types of cancer.

In recent years, as researchers have learned a lot more about human’s immune system, they began to study on improving the outcome of the immunotherapy. On 12th April, 2010, Provenge – an immunotherapy method, was approved by the FDA (the US Food & Drug Administration) for the treatment of prostate cancer. This was such a land marker in the history of the immunotherapy research as Provenge was the first approved cancer immunotherapy, this indicated that the immunotherapy had been effective in the treatment of cancer, and it would give cancer patients another option and more opportunities of survival.

With the development of the immunology and better understanding of the immune response, the immunotherapy has been widely used in the clinical treatment of cancer in China. The Dendritic Cells (DC), Cytokine Induced Killer (CIK) cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells are the most common treatment methods.

These adoptive cell based immunotherapies, which were first introduced by Rosenberg and his colleagues of NIH, USA, and this treatment in available in various countries. Isolating the allogenic or autologous immune cells and enrich them outside patient’s body and then re-infuse them back to the patient. These cells are highly cytotoxic to the cancer cells and hereby to kill the cancer cells. This treatment is in clinical practice in Asian countries, and autologous immune system enhancement treatment including Natural Killer (NK) cells and Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes (CTL) is being practiced in the cancer treatment.

Immunotherapy China is specialized in providing immunotherapy for cancer treatment, search for a type of cancer you are interested in the list on the left, read about the treatment experiences shared by other cancer patients.