Immuno-oncology is the study of using pharmaceuticals or biologics to stimulate a patient’s immune system to more effectively identify and combat cancer cells. This is achieved by either stimulating the patient’s own immune system, or by administering modified products having oncolytic qualities. Immunotherapy is a rapidly expanding field of new drugs for cancer. Patients with some tumours are benefiting more and more from these new drugs, which have drastically altered the treatment environment.
Immunotherapy drugs are classified into six broad drug categories, including Checkpoint Modulators, Cell therapies, Cancer vaccines, Cytokines, Bispecific antibodies and Oncolytic viruses. Currently, the Immuno-Checkpoint Modulators (ICMs) are the leading drug category and have been a mainstay of treatment for many different tumour types over the past ten years. Others like the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells, and bispecific antibodies are emerging as a significant growth area across a wide range of tumour indications.