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† A. Immunotherapy: Cancer Treatment Of The Future?

Narrator: This is Science Today. In cancer research, doctors and scientists have been looking more at immune-based therapies which stimulate a patientís own immune system. Dr. Stanley Leong of the University of California, San Francisco, says what needs to be developed now are markers to determine if a patient will respond well to immunotherapy.

Leong: So that with these markers, we can actually screen right in the beginning and divide the patients into groups in that way, we would be able to find out that certain patients can be treated right away with immunotherapy.

Narrator: Leong says this is important for those patients who may not do well with chemotherapy.

Leong: One of the potential problems with having being treated by chemotherapy first, prior to immunotherapy is that chemotherapy itself, is immuno suppressive, so itís a two edged sword. If the chemotherapy works, thatís worth it, on the other hand, if it doesnít work then the side effects are significant enough - including immunosuppression.

Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.