LONDON — The promise of immunotherapies to treat cancer has yet to reach brain tumors.
It’s difficult to deliver medicines into the brain for a host of reasons. In particular, brain tumors are able to suppress the body’s immune activity and have comparably few genetic vulnerabilities that cancer drugs can target. They’re considered immunologically “cold.”
That hasn’t stopped researchers from trying various ways to enlist the body’s own immune system to stamp out brain tumors. Past studies have shown that treatments like checkpoint inhibitors and personalized cancer vaccines can rally some immune response against these cancers. Such findings have inspired hope that there may be potential for immunotherapies in neuro-oncology after all.
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