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Cancer Immunotherapy: Limitations and Potential Strategies
AuthorBouchlaka, Myriam N.
AdvisorMurphy, William J.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Cancer immunotherapy is a treatment strategy which uses a patient's own immune system to induce or enhance immune responses against cancer. Although immunotherapy has been used for the treatment of a variety of cancers since the early 1900s, it represents the youngest pillar of cancer treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Indeed, in the past decades there is a growing interest in developing novel cancer immunotherapies with the hope to achieve great anti-tumor responses. Unfortunately, the efficacy of immunotherapy can be hampered by several limitations that accompany such treatments. This dissertation is broken down into three separate chapters. Chapter 1 will give an overview of the current immunotherapeutic strategies with greater description of the limitations facing cancer immunotherapy and some potential means to circumvent them. Chapter 2 and 3 will introduce different aspect of the limitations of cancer treatment. Chapter 2 will mainly focus on the systemic toxicities after immunotherapy that occur with age and also provide new means to limit these lethal toxicities. Chapter 3 will address the lack of proper immune activation in current immunotherapies. This will be demonstrated by the introduction of novel means to stimulate an immune response in weakly immunogenic mouse breast cancer model using magnetic iron particles as an adjuvant therapy in combination with immunotherapy. Each chapter will give further detailed background information for each subject matter and especially present potential strategies to overcome some of the limitations of immunotherapy in the context of cancer treatments.