Optimism and Purpose Drive Immune-Oncology Advances


It is, fair to say the field of immune-oncology is still in its infancy. But the concept of immune system activation as a means of treating cancer can be traced back as early as the 1890s, to the work of Dr. William B. Coley, a prominent New York surgeon, who observed that a portion of cancer patients experienced spontaneous remissions of their tumors as a result of contracting acute bacterial infections. For the next four decades he treated hundreds of patients suffering with, in many cases, inoperable bone and soft-tissue sarcomas using mixtures of bacterial toxins. His findings were published and he has become known as the early pioneer of cancer immunotherapy.

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