Steven O'Day, MD
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment designed to improve or boost the body’s natural defenses to fight disease. This module explores the importance of immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer. The module begins with a review of the components and functions of the immune system, the role of the immune system in fighting cancer and the ways in which tumor cells can escape the immune response. This module also discusses the different types of immunotherapy, the selection of biologic agents based on a tumor’s individual mutational profile and molecular testing methods used to identify genetic mutations.
Upon completion of this module, participants should be able to:
- Identify the components of the immune system and describe how these components contribute to the suppression of tumor growth.
- Explain the methods tumor cells have for evading the immune response, and discuss how immunotherapy can target and overcome these methods of evasion.
- Understand how immunotherapeutic agents are selected based on a tumor’s unique mutational profile.
- Compare the methods of molecular testing used, in both clinical and research settings, to identify mutations that lead to tumorigenesis.