Checkpoint inhibitors

Checkpoint inhibitors affect a type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Lymphocytes are an important part of the immune system. When they are active, lymphocytes can attack another cell such as a cancer cell. But if they receive a certain signal from the other cell, they switch off (become inactive) and do not attack it.

Checkpoint inhibitors block the signals that switch off lymphocytes. They do this by attaching to either the cancer cell or the lymphocyte. This means the lymphocyte stays active and can attack the cancer cell.

If you know the name of the checkpoint inhibitor you are looking for, you can use our alphabetical list of targeted and immunotherapy drugs to find it. You can find more information about:

  • what the treatment is
  • how it is given
  • possible side effects.

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