Checkpoint inhibitor
Checkpoint inhibitor

Checkpoint inhibitor allows the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells

Tumors are fought with every weapon available – even the body’s own defenses are mobilized

Tumors are able to disarm the body’s immune response and therefore protect themselves. This is precisely where a checkpoint inhibitor steps in: the checkpoint inhibitor modulates the immune response to tumor cells and allows the body to attack the tumor with its own defense cells. According to new studies, checkpoint inhibitors are already allowing the cure rate of patients with malignant melanoma to be improved and the treatment of urology tumors or a certain type of lung cancer to be supported in the same way. However only around a quarter of patients respond to treatment with checkpoint inhibitors, while for the others the method exhibits no improved response on the part of the immune system. The side effects are not inconsiderable either: an immune system that has had its “brakes” taken off can also turn on the body it is part of.

Hopes for long-term effect of immunotherapy

In a similar way to an infectious disease or vaccination, the immune system learns during treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor how best to fight the tumor cells. The body forms “memory cells” and is therefore protected against malignant changes even once therapy finishes. The tumors are also apparently unable to develop any resistance to the treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor, as can be the case with chemotherapy for example.

Further research into checkpoint inhibitors plans to improve the method further

Immunotherapy with a checkpoint inhibitor is still not yet the silver bullet against cancer – but it definitely is a method that, with further research, can be expanded and optimized in years to come. Radiotherapy has only developed at a rapid pace in recent years and has now become a very safe and precise method of effectively fighting cancer. The Radiotherapy Patient System RPS provides additional safety during radiotherapy: it features an integrated RFID (radio-frequency identification) reader. The patient’s position under the linear accelerator is determined and can be corrected at the press of a button. Even movements that are caused by breathing or peristalsis can be compensated by the RPS. Would you like to learn how you can combine RPS with your existing linear accelerator? If so, send an e-mail to