Beware the hype: Top scientists cautious about fighting cancer with immunotherapy

There’s been a lot of excitement about immunotherapy1 as a tool to treat cancer. But as leading experts gathered here on Sunday, remedy several struck an unexpected note of caution.

“Be critical, seek ” said Dr. Philip Greenberg of the University of Washington, there who’s also scientific cofounder of Juno Therapeutics, one of the companies leading the search2 for immune-based treatments for cancer. “Don’t believe everything you hear.”

Although progress toward harnessing the immune system to attack tumors has been “enormous,” he said, his lab and many others are seeing in more and more studies — in lab mice as well as patients — that “immuno-oncology” will not be as simple3 as stimulating T cells to attack tumors.

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