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How Immunotherapy Can Treat Lung Cancer

The Types of Cancer that Immunotherapy Can Help Treat  02:08
The Types of Cancer that Immunotherapy Can Help Treat
Can Immunotherapy Actually Cure Cancer?01:00
Can Immunotherapy Actually Cure Cancer?
How Immunotherapy Can Treat Lung Cancer00:44
How Immunotherapy Can Treat Lung Cancer
How Is Immunotherapy Different from Chemotherapy?02:00
How Is Immunotherapy Different from Chemotherapy?
How Immunotherapy Has Revolutionized Treatment for Melanoma00:47
How Immunotherapy Has Revolutionized Treatment for Melanoma
What Is Immunotherapy, and How Does it Treat Cancer?01:25
What Is Immunotherapy, and How Does it Treat Cancer?
Types of Immunotherapy Cancer Patients Need to Understand03:06
Types of Immunotherapy Cancer Patients Need to Understand

Immunotherapy has become a breakthrough and life-extending cancer treatment. This FDA-approved treatment can slow down the spread of cancer cells in the body, or even eliminate the cancer cells altogether.

One type of cancer that immunotherapy has been successful with is non-small cell lung cancer. Immunotherapy is used to treat lung cancer after chemotherapy has failed, according to Melissa Wilson, MD, PhD, an oncologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. This means that either the chemotherapy could not successfully eliminate the cancer cells, or that the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. This spreading of tumor growth is called metastasis.

More recently, immunotherapy has been FDA-approved to be used in conjunction with chemotherapy as a front-line treatment. This means patients with lung cancer can use immunotherapy with chemotherapy, which could potentially reduce the chances of metastasis.

What makes immunotherapy unique compared other cancer treatment is that it revs up the body’s natural immune system. Cancer cells often act like normal, healthy cells, so the disease-fighting T cells of the immune system often do not recognize them as dangerous.

To treat non-small cell lung cancer, doctors use a specific type of immunotherapy known as checkpoint inhibitors. These aid the immune system’s T cells to recognize the cancer cells as foreign, so they are more likely to target them effectively. You can learn about other types of immunotherapy to treat cancer here.

Melissa Wilson, MD, PhD

This video features Melissa Wilson, MD, PhD. Dr. Wilson is an assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, focusing on melanoma. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Wilson pursues clinical and translational research projects focused on advancing treatment options for patients with melanoma, with a particular interest in targeted therapies.

Duration: 00:44. Last Updated On: 2017-08-10
Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh . Review date: June 28, 2017
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