Immuno-oncology differs from other types of cancer treatment because it does not target the tumor directly, but acts on the defense mechanisms of a patient’s immune system to destroy cancer cells.
Therefore, the immune system is enhanced with antibodies or vaccines that «teach» the body how to attack ill cells.
Use of vaccines in cancer therapy
This therapeutic approach, also known as vaccine therapy or specific active immunotherapy, has not the purpose to prevent the development of cancer, but to treat patients who already have cancer. For this reason, a more appropriate term is “therapeutic vaccination”. In oncology, vaccines can be used for prevention purposes only when it comes to cervical cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma, because they target the infectious agents that cause these types of cancer.
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