Narrator: This is Science Today. Understanding
how cancer interacts with the immune system has changed
over the last few decades. That's why, as we approach
the 21st Century, immunotherapy is at the forefront
of cancer research. Dr. Robert Figlin of UCLA says
this understanding is partly due to better technology.
Figlin: We now have the tools that we didn't
have before and I think that as most people would
think and I agree - we're really on the horizon of
disease and treatment specific immune therapy as opposed
to non-specific, hoping that the immune system will
somehow figure out a way to deal with it.
Narrator: Figlin says researchers have also
realized patients need to be treated earlier before
the cancer and chemotherapy have overwhelmed the immune
Figlin: We're treating patients earlier in
the course of their disease and ultimately what's
called adjunctive therapy - giving therapy at a time
when a person's at risk but does not have clinical
evidence of cancer - is the place where immunotherapy
is going to have it's biggest role.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.