im·​mu·​no·​ther·​a·​py ˌi-myə-nō-ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce immunotherapy (audio)
: treatment or prevention of disease (such as an autoimmune disorder, allergy, or cancer) that involves the stimulation, enhancement, suppression, or desensitization of the immune system see adoptive immunotherapy
immunotherapeutic adjective

Examples of immunotherapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are many types of cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and hormonal therapy, among others. Alexander Olawaiye, The Conversation, 27 Mar. 2024 Your doctor may recommend immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or sublingual treatment (allergy drops), Mendez explained. Maggie O'Neill, Verywell Health, 25 Mar. 2024 All immunotherapies come with risk of neurological side effects, including confusion, language difficulties and sleepiness. Kaitlin Sullivan, NBC News, 13 Mar. 2024 Unlike oral immunotherapy, Xolair is an anti-IgE injection, according to Wood. Amanda Musa, CNN, 25 Feb. 2024 Along with those shots, the patients received the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab and an adjuvant — a substance that increases a vaccine’s effects. Kenneth Miller, Discover Magazine, 9 Dec. 2023 There are alternative treatments available for eye melanoma, including photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 And last December the companies Moderna and Merck announced positive results from their latest study of an mRNA vaccine used in combination with the immunotherapy drug Keytruda for treating melanoma. Jaimie Seaton, Scientific American, 13 Feb. 2024 The former indoor mall long known as the Westside Pavilion will become the UCLA Research Park and will house two multidisciplinary centers focusing on immunology and immunotherapy as well as quantum science and engineering. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'immunotherapy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from German Immunotherapie, from immuno- immuno- + Therapie therapy

Note: The German word was introduced by Paul ehrlich in the lecture "Chemotherapie von Infektionskrankheiten," published in Zeitschrift für ärtzliche Fortbildung, 6. Jahrgang, Nummer 23 (1. Dezember 1909), pp. 721-33.

First Known Use

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of immunotherapy was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near immunotherapy

Cite this Entry

“Immunotherapy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


im·​mu·​no·​ther·​a·​py -ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce immunotherapy (audio)
plural immunotherapies
: treatment or prevention of disease (such as a cancer, autoimmune disorder, or allergy) that involves the stimulation, enhancement, suppression, or desensitization of the immune system
Demonstrating promise is immunotherapy, in which special medications are used to beef up the body's own cancer-fighting cells.Harvard Health Letter
If environmental control and pharmacotherapy fail to control symptoms, then allergen immunotherapy—also called hyposensitization or desensitization—may be considered.Discover

called also immune therapy

see adoptive immunotherapy
immunotherapeutic adjective
immunotherapeutic activity
immunotherapeutic methods

More from Merriam-Webster on immunotherapy

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