Immunotherapy stimulates the body’s normal defence mechanisms, so that it can use the immune system to fight the malignant process and destroy the tumour.
Malignant tumours in man are not greatly immunogenic. That is to say that they are not generally recognised as foreign by the body, so that they are tolerated and can grow. It is, therefore, necessary to stimulate body defence mechanisms by means of various agents, such as interferon and interleukin and other immunotherapeutic agents which are in the course of development.
Immunotherapy is currently one of the most promising areas of oncology research. Gustave Roussy has positioned itself as a leader in improvements and innovation in this area, especially by demonstrating the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies. These are now reaching a state where they can block the progression of very aggressive tumours against which there was previously a paucity of therapeutic options.
Gustave Roussy is pioneering the demonstration of their effectiveness in Europe, in particular with anti-CTLA4, anti-PD1 and anti-PDL1 antibodies.