'Harnessing the little white cells': tracing practices of immunity in cancer


  • Dr Julia Swallow

    University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Project summary

Over the last five years, immunotherapy treatments have emerged to treat patients with some forms of cancer and they are being used in clinical practice and being tested in clinical trials. These treatments use the patient's own body to treat cancer and it is hoped that these novel therapies may extend survival time. However, there are concerns about side-effects and toxicities from long-term treatment, predicting response and prognosis, and the management of patients’ hopes and expectations. 

This project involves fieldwork across two sites where immunotherapy is given. We want to understand how it is shifting the way cancer is approached, managed and experienced. We will consider the way in which immunotherapy treatments affect the way cancer is managed in clinical practice as part of patient care as well as exploring what these developments mean for patients who are living with cancer.