It works by harnessing the immune system recognise and attack cancer cells. It is normally given via an IV drip.
Some types of immunotherapy are also called targeted treatments or biological therapies.
One might have immunotherapy on its own or with other cancer treatments.
The immune system works to protect the body against infection, illness and disease. It can also protect from the development of cancer.
The immune system includes the lymph glands, spleen and white blood cells.
Normally, it can spot and destroy faulty cells in the body, stopping cancer developing. But a cancer might develop when:the immune system recognises cancer cells but it is not strong enough to kill the cancer cells the cancer cells produce signals that stop the immune system from attacking it the cancer cells hide or escape from the immune system
Types of immunotherapy
Cancer treatments do not always fit easily into a certain type of treatment.
This is because some drugs or treatments work in more than one way and belong to more than one group.
For example, a type of immunotherapy called checkpoint inhibitors are also described as a monoclonal antibody or targeted treatment.
CAR T-cell therapy
This treatment changes the genes in a person’s white blood cells (T cells) to help them recognise and kill cancer cells.
Changing the T cell in this way is called genetically