Video: Immunotherapy Pt.2 – The History

Last week Medical Outreach Director, Kaylen Jackson, gave an introduction to what immunotherapy is and how it works. This week she backed things up and discussed some initial history and how immunotherapy came about. For more information on immunotherapy and other mesothelioma treatment options, click here.


“Hi. I’m Kaylen, and I’m the Medical Outreach Director for The Mesothelioma Center. And today I’m going to be going over a brief history of immunotherapy.

In the 1850s, doctors first noticed that if a patient’s tumor became infected it would occasionally shrink. This observation led to them to believe that the body’s own immune system could be harnessed and made to fight disease.

They were really encouraged by the development of a smallpox vaccination. They hoped to develop a cancer vaccine and initially would inject patient’s tumors with extracts from other patient’s tumors. This was widely ineffective. However, the field of immunotherapy was born.

Progress was slow initially. The first hundred years in the laboratory yielded very few advancements. However, in 1975 two scientists out of Cambridge developed a way to make synthetic antibodies. Their discovery, coupled with an ever-increasing understanding of the body’s natural immune system, has led to a number of treatments and strategies available for mesothelioma today.

If you’d like to learn more about the history of immune therapy or current trials going on right now for mesothelioma, please contact us. Thanks for watching and see you next time.”

Next week we will be discussing how immunotherapy works. Is there a topic you would like to see us cover in future videos? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

Social Media Community Analyst

Nadia Persaud joined the Mesothelioma Center in 2011 as the Social Media Community Analyst. She is excited to be spreading awareness about asbestos safety and new developments in the industry with our online community.

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