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Types of cancer immunotherapy

There are different types of immunotherapy. Some of these are also called targeted therapies or biological therapies.

Monoclonal antibodies (MABs)

Some MABs have an effect on the immune system. So as well as being a targeted cancer drug, they are also a type of immunotherapy.

Checkpoint Inhibitors

Checkpoint inhibitors are used to treat cancers such as melanoma skin cancer and lung cancer. Researchers are also looking at them in clinical trials for other types of cancer.


Cytokines are a group of proteins that are found naturally in the body. They help to boost the immune system. Man made versions of these proteins have been developed as a treatment for cancer.

Vaccines to treat cancer

Cancer vaccines are a type of immunotherapy. Research in this area is at an early stage and vaccines are mainly available as part of clinical trials. 

CAR T-cell therapy

This type of immunotherapy is still quite new and researchers are looking into how well it works as a treatment for cancer. You might have it as part of a clinical trial.

Last reviewed: 
15 Nov 2017

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