What are immune checkpoint inhibitors? In brief, immune checkpoint inhibitors, or ICIs, are a cancer treatment that has revolutionized cancer care in the last decade. So much so, research leading to ICI development merited the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2018. One of the ways cancer survives is by ‘turning off’ the immune cells that are trying to attack it. ICIs help ‘turn on’ these cancer-attacking immune cells and have proven to be quite successful in treating many types of cancers (Check out a digest on ICIs here). One issue with ICIs, however, is that they are notoriously expensive (frequently $50K+), which makes them unaffordable for about 98% of those who need them.
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