Patient success stories illustrate the hope promised by cancer immunotherapy.
The last five years have seen enormous advances in immunotherapy. Consider that three checkpoint inhibitors and a bispecific monoclonal antibody were approved during that half a decade alone, and you’ll get a sense of the rapid acceleration of progress in this important field.
These drugs can mean everything to some patients, especially those who have been treated with other standard therapies for conditions such as melanoma, lung cancer or acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and experienced disease progression nonetheless. In this special issue of CURE, we give you the stories of some of these patients. Peter Daly, for example, after being diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, helped pioneer the use of the checkpoint inhibitor Yervoy (ipilimumab) in a clinical trial in 2004, and is still thriving. And then there’s Maureen O’Grady, who had run out of approved options for her stage 4 lung cancer by 2008. In a trial of the checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab), which has since been approved for the treatment of lung cancer, she saw her disease recede and stabilize.
We don’t share these stories simply because they’re inspiring, but also to demonstrate the great possibility and hope promised by immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer.
In this issue, we will expound on that theme with articles about the approved and/or experimental immunotherapies available for the treatment of melanoma, as well as for renal, lung, breast and prostate cancers. We’ll give you a picture of immunotherapy through time, and perspectives on how immunotherapies will fit into cancer treatment plans, who is eligible for these therapies and how patients can get access to them. We’ll round things out by looking closely at the costs of immunotherapy.
We hope these insights will answer your questions about what immunotherapy is, how it works in the body and how it might be able to help you or a loved one through your experience with cancer.
As always, thank you for reading.