Latest Exciting Developments In Molecular Biology (New Immunotherapies for Cancer Treatment)

April 3, 2019
Karen O’Malia Zauderer

In the late 19th century Dr. William Coley noticed a regression in the cancers of some of his patients who developed feverish infections. He concocted a mixture of bacteria, which he called “Coley’s toxins” in an effort to trigger patients’ immune systems to fight their tumors, along with the raging infection. 

At the turn of the century at Coley’s hospital, now Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, chemotherapy and radiation, which were more easily controlled and administered, were evolving and eventually supplanted his techniques. 

Although chemo and radiation continue to dominate the cancer treatment field, immunotherapy research has resurfaced. Jimmy Carter’s metastatic melanoma is in remission, and John McCain’s glioblastoma was mitigated by current immunotherapy treatments.

The presentation will outline the most common emerging immunotherapy techniques, the theories behind them, and their success rates.