im·​mu·​no·​ther·​a·​py | \ ˌi-myə-nō-ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce immunotherapy (audio) , i-ˌmyü-nō-\

Definition of immunotherapy

: 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

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Other Words from immunotherapy

immunotherapeutic \ ˌi-​myə-​nō-​ˌther-​ə-​ˈpyü-​tik How to pronounce immunotherapeutic (audio) , i-​ˌmyü-​nō-​ \ adjective

Examples of immunotherapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Bristol-Myers lost its advantage in immunotherapy treatment of lung cancer to rival Merck & Co. Celgene has struggled to find new products whose sales will offset the looming patent expiration of Revlimid. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Advances in Cancer Drugs Fuel Blockbuster Deal," 3 Jan. 2019 Additional candidates include firms like Carma Therapeutics Inc., which is developing cellular immunotherapies based on work begun in the lab of Penn assistant professor Saar Gill to attack cancer tumors. Joseph N. Distefano,, "Penn invests $50 million in Philly biotech companies," 26 June 2018 Giroir — who was confirmed by the Senate in February as assistant secretary for health — was most recently chief executive of biopharmaceutical company ViraCyte, which develops cellular immunotherapies for severe infections. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Alex Azar is surrounding himself with industry insiders," 20 Apr. 2018 While immunotherapy and other advances in cancer care promise new treatments for this malignancy, survival rates have scarcely budged since 1975. Melissa Healy,, "Attention women: Your choice of blood pressure medicine may affect your risk of pancreatic cancer," 18 Apr. 2018 Even as late as the 2000s, the field of immunotherapy was not well regarded by other cancer scientists. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Cancer Breakthrough That Just Won the Nobel Prize, Explained," 1 Oct. 2018 The trial, led by medical oncologist Dr. Breelyn Wilky, tested the effectiveness of immunotherapy, drugs that boost the immune system to fight cancer. Julie Landry Laviolette, miamiherald, "Most of her sarcoma tumors melted away with this clinical trial treatment," 23 May 2018 The whole point of the game-changing cancer immunotherapies is to get armadas of T cells sailing into battle against tumors. Sharon Begley, STAT, "For cancer immunotherapies, a radioactive crystal ball might foretell success or failure," 14 May 2018 Merck’s flagship cancer immunotherapy Keytruda (or pembrolizumab), combined with chemotherapy, helped lung cancer patients live significantly longer lives than those treated with chemotherapy alone. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Merck's Bet on Cancer Immunotherapy Is Paying Off in Spades and Helping Lung Cancer Patients Live Longer," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'immunotherapy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of immunotherapy

1910, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for immunotherapy

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Last Updated

31 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for immunotherapy

The first known use of immunotherapy was in 1910

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More Definitions for immunotherapy


im·​mu·​no·​ther·​a·​py | \ -ˈther-ə-pē How to pronounce immunotherapy (audio) \
plural immunotherapies

Medical Definition of immunotherapy

: 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, August 1997 If environmental control and pharmacotherapy fail to control symptoms, then allergen immunotherapy—also called hyposensitization or desensitization—may be considered.Discover, March 1998

called also immune therapy

— see adoptive immunotherapy

Other Words from immunotherapy

immunotherapeutic \ -​ˌther-​ə-​ˈpyüt-​ik How to pronounce immunotherapeutic (audio) \ adjective
immunotherapeutic activity immunotherapeutic methods

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an act or instance of returning to life

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