Checkpoint inhibitors unleash the immune system against cancer

02/18/2014 | Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The

Immune-checkpoint inhibitors are among the new molecular medicines that offer a step forward from chemotherapies, which kill cancer cells but can cause severe side effects and often produce short-lived outcomes. Checkpoint inhibitor antibodies are designed to teach the immune system to react as cancer cells mutate. Science magazine named checkpoint inhibition 2013's Breakthrough of the Year, and the publicly funded research might lead to treatments for hepatitis B, HIV and blood infections as well as various cancers.

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