Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics (Part 2)

Immunotherapy and Cancer Stem Cells

Author(s): Ravi Teja Chitturi Suryaprakash, Mohammad Ayman Abdulkarim Safi, Noufa Alonazi, Ahdab A. Alsaieedi and Omar Kujan *

Pp: 165-235 (71)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815124606123010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Immunotherapy is one of the important modalities in the treatment of cancer since it can directly target the tumor and its microenvironment with lesser side effects and cytotoxicity. The main goal of immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer is the reactivation of the immune system against cancer cells. In this way, the body fights against cancer using its immune system rather than relying on external agents which might be harmful to other healthy parts of the body. The development of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) has delivered a significant therapeutic effect. Mab therapy is one of the most evolving techniques in cancer immunotherapy and has shown efficacy in controlling several types of malignancies. There are several other methods by which the activation of the immune system can be achieved, such as by using small molecules or by targeting ligands. Interestingly, studies have demonstrated that cancer stem cells have also been found as a target for effective immunotherapy. Additionally, the complete elimination of the cancer cells requires longer sustainability of tumor-specific T cells. Primitive results suggest that these T cells can be localized to tumor cells, mediating highly effective immunotherapy. However, despite these huge successes, several problems still persist and must be overcome. This chapter discusses the current and cutting-edge immunotherapeutic approaches to fight against cancer cells.

Keywords: Cancer, Immunotherapy, Monoclonal therapy, Stem cells, Tumour microenvironment, Vaccines.

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