Experts Focus on Fighting Cancer
According to a panel of experts working on President Obama’s “cancer moonshot” initiative to find a cure for cancer, researchers should target immune therapy, also called immunotherapy. So far, immune therapies have shown promise in treating lung cancer and melanoma—in former President Jimmy Carter, for example—but have been less effective in other cancer types, including childhood cancers.
Immunotherapy uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. It involves using drugs to improve the immune system response to cancer, specially engineered antibodies to recognize and fight tumors, and drugs to block the mechanism by which cancer cells hide from immune system cells.
Researchers are trying to determine why some cancers do not respond to immunotherapy and are working to develop additional treatments, including a new approach to bone marrow transplants. Another goal is to make targeted treatments available to more cancer patients.
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