Traditional cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, have demonstrated minimal efficacy for patients with late-stage disease. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy often also cause considerable side effects. Therefore, innovative and effective cancer treatments are urgently needed for cancer patients with late-stage and refractory disease. To this end, cancer immunotherapy, which uses the patient's immune system to control and destroy cancer cells, has emerged as a promising approach for cancer treatment and holds several key advantages over traditional therapies including high specificity, little or no side effects, and a good safety profile. Immunotherapies that have gained traction in recent years include adoptive T-cell therapy and bispecific monoclonal antibody therapy (Koury et al. 2018). As we continue developing and employing these immunotherapies, research involving T-cell receptor profiling will teach us how to better track patients' responses and guide treatment strategies.
Koury, J. et al. Immunotherapies: exploiting the immune system for cancer treatment. J. Immuno. Res. 9585614 (2018).
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