Nial Wheate, Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Sydney, Australia, provides an introductory overview of the sophisticated ways we now use immunotherapy including vaccinations, antibodies (proteins that bind to foreign objects to mark them for destruction), cytokines (molecules used in the body’s immune response) and colony-stimulating factors (proteins that stimulate the production of blood cells):
The above article is high level and not that technical and provides some background for those wishing to better understand how immunotherapy is used in treating CLL and other cancers.
Most of us would be familiar with the term monoclonal antibody, with several in use in regular treatment or in trial use for the treatment of CLL, with the most familiar being Rituximab (the R in FCR).
Quite a few of us may have needed G-CSF (Granulocyte colony stimulating factor) to boost our neutrophils to acceptable levels so that we can continue treatment.
Cytokines produced by our over abundance of B-Lymphocyte clones are thought by some CLL researchers to be a possible cause of fatigue for those of us that struggle with it.