Researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam) demonstrated that immunotherapy prior to surgery can cause colon cancer patient’s tumors to shrink over a short time period. The findings are part of the NICHE study, a Phase II trial, and have recently been published in Nature Medicine. The term ‘neoadjuvant immunotherapy’ is used to refer to immunotherapy prior to surgery.
The concept is that the immune system will familiarize itself with all the tumor variations before the tumor is removed, which enables the system to respond better. The aim of neoadjuvant immunotherapy is to prevent the cancer returning or metastasizing, and to reduce the size of large tumors to make surgery easier.
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