Chasing Away Childhood Cancer

Immunotherapy Is Able to Benefit Stem Cell Transplant Recipients

Stem cell transplants are often an effective way to drive various cancers into remission. The problem is that approximately one-third of patients relapse afterwards and face a poor prognosis. A new Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that a new treatment approach, which uses repeated doses of an immunotherapy drug, can restore a complete remission for some patients in this predicament. Immunotherapy is a type of treatment designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses substances either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function. By utilizing this strategy, it could potentially prevent more relapses in the future. This information is promising as it sets the stage for large trials to occur which could further develop immunotherapy methods and results.