by Fatchiyah, Dept Biology UB

Immunotherapy is a medical term defined as the “treatment of disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response”.[1] Immunotherapies designed to elicit or amplify an immune response are classified as activation immunotherapies. While immunotherapies that reduce or suppress are classified as suppression immunotherapies.

The active agents of immunotherapy are collectively called immunomodulators. They are a diverse array of recombinant, synthetic and natural preparations, often cytokines. Some of these substances, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interferons, imiquimod and cellular membrane fractions from bacteria are already licensed for use in patients. Others including IL-2, IL-7, IL-12, various chemokines, synthetic cytosine phosphate-guanosine (CpG), oligodeoxynucleotides and glucans are currently being investigated extensively in clinical and preclinical studies. Immunomodulatory regimens offer an attractive approach as they often have fewer side effects than existing drugs, including less potential for creating resistance in microbial diseases.[2]

Cell based Immunotherapies are proven to be effective for some cancers. Immune effector cells such as lymphocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, natural killer cells (NK Cell), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), etc., work together to defend the body against cancer by targeting abnormal antigens expressed on the surface of the tumor due to mutation.

Lecture materials:

1. AvianInfluenza (H5N1)


3. McMichael-imun (HIV)

4. immunotherapy – allergy


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