Immuno-oncology — A Relatively New and Promising Treatment for Melanoma

Immuno-oncology — a relatively new and promising treatment for melanoma — is available at Columbus Regional Hospital. 

“Our biggest defense against cancer is the immune system, but sometimes the immune system can’t keep up with rapidly growing cancer cells,” said Kelsey Finch, Pharm.D., an oncology pharmacist at Columbus Regional Hospital. “Immuno-oncology uses medications that work in different ways to help the body’s immune system fight cancers like it does infections and other diseases.”

One common type of immuno-oncology medication, called a checkpoint inhibitor, prevents proteins from attaching to cancer cells and protecting them from the immune system. In contrast, chemotherapy medications target and destroy cancer cells, but they often damage healthy cells as well. 

“For the first time in a long time, we have an entirely new way of thinking about the treatment of cancer,” Finch said. “Instead of trying to kill cancer cells, we’re using a radically different approach and finding ways to help the body naturally fight cancer.”

Immuno-oncology was first used to treat patients with melanoma. Now it shows promise in treating a broader array of cancers, including lung, head and neck, bladder, gastric and certain lymphomas. 

Researchers are studying its effectiveness in treating other cancers. Oncology specialists at Columbus Regional Hospital expect that these new medications will be available to more patients in the near future.
View All Success Stories
CRH banner

CRH News

  • VIDEO: NexusPark Construction Timelapse

    Nov 28, 2023, 19:07 PM by Laker, J.
    Watch three angles of the ongoing construction of NexusPark through November, 2023.
    Full story
  • Holiday hours for CRH-affiliated services

    Nov 15, 2023, 19:09 PM by Andrew Laker
    Office hours for CRH-affiliated practices and service lines for the 2023/2024 holiday season.
    Full story
  • Healthy Communities releases gun safety statement

    Nov 1, 2023, 17:35 PM by User Not Found
    Columbus Regional Health Healthy Communities Council recognizes unintentional and intentional gun deaths and injuries as a public health crisis.
    Full story
  • CRH Offering Two Important Health Screening Opportunities

    Oct 12, 2023, 16:03 PM by DeClue, A.
    On Oct. 28, Columbus Regional Health Breast Health Services will offer a free clinical breast screening event for those whose insurance does not cover breast screenings. Also, throughout November, the CRH Lung Care Team is offering low-dose lung scans to anyone who is eligible and hasn’t had a lung scan before.
    Full story
  • OB/GYN Associates prepares for move to NexusPark

    Oct 11, 2023, 17:54 PM by DeClue, A.
    Columbus Regional Health is pleased to announce the first phase of the relocation process for those practices and services moving into the health system’s dedicated space in NexusPark. In this first phase, OB/GYN Associates will relocate to NexusPark and open to patients on Oct. 23, 2023.
    Full story
  • Workplace Violence Prevention Efforts at CRH Supported By New Law

    Sep 13, 2023, 19:33 PM by Newton, A.
    The safety of Columbus Regional Health's workforce is our priority. The formation of the Columbus Regional Hospital Police Department in 2020 has allowed us to have immediate response from law enforcement for workforce members. As part of their work, our Workplace Violence Prevention Committee reviews workplace violence incidents and looks at how to incorporate various scenarios in our training and education for staff.
    Full story