The Science behind Immune Checkpoint Therapy

Immune checkpoint therapies Image:

Immune checkpoint therapies


A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Madhu Kumar recently served as a scientific advisor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. Madhu Kumar specializes in molecular biology and in recent years has been interested in cancer-related topics including immune checkpoint therapy.

Immune checkpoint therapy as a discipline has seen significant clinical developments throughout the years and is seen as a new weapon to curb cancer. In clinical trials where this therapy has been utilized, a considerable number of patients with cancer have experienced long-term remission.

This therapy mainly relies on a natural component of the body: the immune system. A vital component of the immune system is the ability to recognize normal and foreign cells, thus giving the immune system an idea which cells to attack. In order to do this, the immune system uses checkpoints, a term used for molecules found on certain immune cells that have to be either activated or inactivated in order to trigger an immune response.

Cancer cells can sometimes use these checkpoints to hide from the body’s immune system, so the main idea behind immune checkpoint therapy is to inhibit these checkpoints and boost the immune response against cancer cells.


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