How does the immunotherapy treatment work?

Immunotherapy is used after tumours have been surgically removed, when the patient has only minimal disease left (in the bone marrow, for example)...

This treatment is designed to train the body's own immune system to detect and destroy neuroblastoma cells that have survived chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

The treatment involves the injection of a substance called monoclonal antibody 3F8 into the bloodstream. The antibodies seek out and attach to neuroblastoma cells and signal the immune system to destroy them.

The primary side effect of 3F8 treatment is a pain reaction requiring pain medications. Despite side effects that occur during 3F8 infusion, no long-term complications have been associated with these antibodies.

3F8 is part of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s standard treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma and is only available at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.