(Community Matters) Groundbreaking innovation in pharmacology with promising early results fighting cancer.
The drugs, still generally in early testing, work in an entirely new way, by unleashing the immune system to attack cancer cells much as it attacks bacteria. That could be an alternative to often-debilitating chemotherapy.
The new drugs work by disabling a brake on the immune system called the programmed death 1 receptor, or PD-1.
Much of the previous attempts at cancer immunotherapy have focused on the first problem — trying to train the immune system to recognize the tumor and attack it.
The PD-1 drugs tackle the second problem of immune system suppression. How many cancers this will work for is still unclear.
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