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Immuno-oncology


Immuno-oncology is a type of biological-therapy. Biologics include a wide range of substances from animal products and other living sources (as opposed to chemically manufactured medications) to prevent, diagnose or treat disease.

Immuno-oncology is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. In general, the immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases. It is made up of white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system. Immuno-oncology is the newest tool in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

Currently immuno-oncology is FDA approved for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer whose tumors have a feature called microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and have progressed on other standard chemotherapy for colorectal cancer. Only a small percentage of metastatic colorectal cancer are MSI-H, and there are many trials to find other strategies to use immuno-oncology in those tumors that are not MSI-H. You can discuss with your doctor if you should enroll in a clinical trial to test one of the experimental immuno-oncology strategies.

Although rare some serious life threatening side effects can occur, if you experience any of the following notify your healthcare team immediately:

Immunotherapies that have been tested in colorectal cancer

  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

    Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-1 receptor and blocks its interaction with PD-L1 and PD-L2, thereby inhibiting inhibition of the immune response, including anti-tumor immune response. Pembrolizumab is FDA approved for colorectal cancers that are MSI-H in patients with colorectal cancer that has progressed following treatment with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan.

  • Nivolumab (Opdivo)

    Nivolumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-1 receptor and blocks its interaction with PD-L1 and PD-L2, thereby inhibiting inhibition of the immune response, including anti-tumor immune response. Nivolumab is now FDA approved for colorectal cancer.

Resources for download


QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TREATMENT

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TREATMENT OPTIONS BY STAGE OF DIAGNOSIS

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METASTATIC TREATMENT OPTIONS

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