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Help give more cancer patients the hope of a cure with immunotherapy

We have made huge advances in immunotherapy, giving thousands of people with cancer longer lives and new hope. With your support today, we can discover even more of immunotherapy’s potential – to benefit more patients and offer more cures.


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"I am beyond thrilled to have my life back." 

Video: Father-of-three, Graham, shares his immunotherapy story.

We've seen first hand how immunotherapy has transformed the lives of many people with cancer over the last decade. People like Graham, who had kidney cancer, but following successful immunotherapy now has no evidence of the disease. 

From end of life to full of life 

Graham was in his early fifties but facing end-of-life care. The kidney cancer he’d been diagnosed with in 2020 had spread and doctors told him it was no longer curable. Then he began immunotherapy.

“Immunotherapy has been remarkable for me. During the initial treatment we were taking everything one step at a time. But I don’t think we dreamt that I would be where I am now, working full-time and enjoying my life to the full.”

But immunotherapy doesn’t work for all people like Graham, or for all cancer types. There is a desperate need to better understand how it works, so we can continue to improve its effectiveness, and offer even more patients the hope of a cure.

How does immunotherapy work?

Rather than directly attacking cancer cells with treatments like chemotherapy, immunotherapy works by sparking the body’s own immune system into action against tumours. It keeps cancer at bay for longer, helping give people longer lives, and curing many of the disease.

Understanding much more about the complex immune biology in people who receive immunotherapy and other treatments for cancer, will help us work out why immunotherapy works really well for a few, but it doesn’t work for most patients.  

And with that knowledge, we can research how to intensify the immune response against cancer to save more lives.

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Professor Alan Melcher in ICR lab

“We have an exceptional track record of turning scientific findings into better treatments for people with cancer. Your regular support will help us plan a new programme of immunotherapy research to bring the hope of a cure to more people with cancer.”

Professor Alan Melcher, Professor of Translational Immunotherapy

The untapped potential of immunotherapy

At The Institute of Cancer Research in London, we are world leaders in unravelling cancer’s complexity, and are turning that knowledge into smarter, kinder types of immunotherapy for cancer patients.

Professor Alan Melcher leads our immunotherapy research. His teams are leading cutting edge research to realise immunotherapy’s full potential.

Looking at biological signatures in patients who have responded well to treatment, and those who haven’t is just one of the ways of doing this. This will help us develop tests to predict in advance whether treatment will be effective; to pick out those who respond best and provide them with access to a potentially life-saving treatment.

We are also researching vaccines which spark the body’s immune system into action against cancer. Vaccines that use viruses to activate the immune system, and new optimised ways of delivering immunotherapy to make it work better.

How your regular gift offers hope

Immunotherapy has the power to transform the lives of people living with cancer. Our exciting research advances are already benefitting people like Graham.

Our work is ambitious and we need your ongoing support to help us continue making more discoveries, finding more cures, and saving more lives.

A monthly gift from you will support our research over several years, helping people with cancer live longer, and offering many more a cure.

Please donate today. Let's finish cancer together.

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