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Immuno-oncology helps the human immune system fight cancer

Immunotherapy does not aim to destroy cancer cells directly, but to strengthen the body's own immune response to cancer. Immunotherapeutic treatments help the immune system to kill cancer cells.

Cancer treatment increasingly consists of a combination of therapies, with immunotherapy or immuno-oncology (IO) as a key component of treatment. IO therapy has shown its efficacy in cancer treatment, particularly when combined with other treatments targeting the drivers of tumour growth. Immunotherapy is used in the treatment of many types of cancer. 
In IO therapy, the patient is given antibodies or cells, for example, that destroy cancer cells. The challenge is the diverse and unique nature of cancer tumours: the microenvironment of a cancer cell can be very different between two patients with the same type of cancer. Immuno-oncology research aims to understand the complex mechanisms of immune defence and the cancer cell.  
The main targets of immuno-oncology research are the:

  • Different cell types of the immune system and to understand how they function
  • Investigate the gene expression profile of the immune cells 
    With growing understanding, the aim is to discover new target molecules and antibodies that help the immune system to recognise and destroy the cancer cell. 



My team and I are driven by the meaningfulness of our work: our aim is that no cancer patient need hear that there is no suitable treatment.” “Immuno-oncology research is progressing rapidly here at Orion and globally. We must respond quickly, be flexible and always be prepared to change the direction of research in light of new results. Sharing information is of primary importance in our work.”

Anil Thotakura, Orion's Head of Immuno-Oncology; PhD, Immuno-Oncology