Durvalumab is an immunotherapy drug that is used to treat certain types of cancer. It belongs to a class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, which work by releasing the brakes on the immune system, allowing it to attack cancer cells.
Durvalumab specifically targets a protein called PD-L1, which is found on the surface of some cancer cells. PD-L1 helps cancer cells evade the immune system by binding to a protein on the surface of immune cells called PD-1. By blocking the interaction between PD-L1 and PD-1, durvalumab allows the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells.
Durvalumab is approved for the treatment of several types of cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. It is typically used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Like all drugs, durvalumab can have side effects. Common side effects include fatigue, rash, diarrhea, nausea, and decreased appetite. More serious side effects can occur, such as inflammation of the lungs, liver, or kidneys, or autoimmune disorders in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body.
Overall, durvalumab represents an important advance in the treatment of cancer and offers a new approach to treating certain types of cancer by harnessing the power of the immune system.