In addition to the already approved and available immunotherapeutic drugs, many others are currently undergoing clinical trials to treat all forms of cancer.
The results obtained so far with immunoncology should not be seen as the end of a journey, but as the beginning of a new era in cancer treatment.
While only a few immunotherapy drugs have been approved and are currently available at the Oncology Departments of the Italian National Health System, many other agents are under clinical investigation at selected research centres; this confirms that immunoncology is bound to become a “universal” strategy of cancer treatment.
Excellent clinical results obtained with the available immunotherapy drugs against selected types of cancer support further clinical research against virtually all types of cancer, in order to identify newer and more effective treatments for human tumors.
As an example, immunotherapy agents are currently under clinical investigation in Italy in the setting of pleural mesothelioma, gastrointestinal cancer, breast carcinoma, ovarian cancer, neuroendocrine tumor, glioblastoma, biliary tract cancer, prostate cancer and hematological malignancies such as multiple myeloma and chronic myeloid leukemia.
Clinical research in the field of immunoncology pursues the goal of improving the treatment chances for cancer patients also by assessing the use of different immunotherapy drugs in combination, or the use of immunotherapy together with conventional cancer treatments (biological therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy) in order to develop and adopt new therapeutic strategies customized and targeted for each individual patient’s tumor, thus (hopefully) improving their efficacy compared to either treatment alone.
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