Immunotherapy as a Cancer Treatment- Update 2

As I mentioned in my previous update, I was trying to narrow down the scope of my project. I decided to focus on the 3 groups of immunotherapies which I encountered the most when I began my research.. These 3 categories were: cancer vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. However, these three areas are not completely independent categories, as monoclonal antibodies are used as immune checkpoint inhibitors. This led me to think it might be best to understand the basics of each category of immunotherapy, but then focus on individual drugs.

Rather than trying to research and compare whole groups of immunotherapies against each other, I would research these groups individually and understand the basic mechanisms of each group of immunotherapies. Then, I would select several specific drugs of each type of immunotherapy and do a more in-depth research of them. When doing more in-depth research of these drugs I would look at clinical trial successes or failures and potential expansions for what these drugs are used for. I am hoping that with research on specific drugs rather than entire categories of immunotherapy, it will be easier to compare and contrast their successes in treating cancer. Perhaps this way, I can see where certain drugs have had more successes, less adverse effects, and which drugs scientists can see more potential in. Additionally, I would see if there are any drugs that have limited usefulness due to issues scientists do not think they can overcome.

I am hoping that by comparing and contrasting these specific drugs I will be able to understand how some drugs are more successful than others. I have already begun my research into specific drugs and have selected a few more that I am interested in focusing on, including: pembrolizumab and nivolumab (two PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors, tecemotide and cetuximab (two monoclonal antibodies) and a few others.


  1. This sounds like an amazing research topic. Not only is it interesting, but also very beneficial to anyone who reads your research later. I love that you began your research very broad and have since come to a more narrow point, so that you understand the topic as a whole before examining specific parts. Have you considered looking at drugs that have been the most effective and comparing them to those that have been the least effective. This could highlight common weaknesses or strengths. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, I think you have successfully narrowed down the scope of your project. Are you going to eventually compare these treatments to chemotherapy and radiation? I would find it interesting to see the difference in effectiveness and side effects between them all. I am excited to see what you learn on this topic, as it interests me as well.

  2. nmcritchley01 says:

    Hi! Sorry for such a late reply, I just saw this comment. For the most part I have been focusing on drugs that have undergone multiple different clinical trials so that I can see if their successes or failures are consistent, but there is a wide range of effectiveness of these drugs. As for comparing them to radiation and chemotherapy, there are many drug trials I looked at which compared immunotherapy drugs to the standard chemotherapy and radiation treatment. There are also several clinical trials which combined immunotherapy and chemotherapy which was also very interesting. Thanks for your comments!