For more than 50 years, Roche has been developing medicines with the goal to redefine treatment in oncology. Today, we’re investing more than ever to bring personalised immunotherapy to people with cancer.

The immune system is designed to recognise and eliminate mutated cells in healthy people. However, for unknown reasons, this natural surveillance system sometimes fails, and when it does, forms of cancer may develop.

The aim of immunotherapy is to strengthen the immune system’s ability to do its job. By furthering our understanding of cancer biology and the immune system, our scientists are able to work on cancer immunotherapy treatments tailored to a person's specific type of tumour. But the immune system is infinitely complex. There is a growing recognition that effective immunotherapy will require a multi-prolonged approach, which would include a combination of treatment—such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted drugs or other immunotherapies—tailored to the particular biology of patients.

Right now, we’re at a very exciting point in the history of cancer treatment where we’re finally able to understand how the immune system recognises tumours. Figuring out why the immune system can be provoked into rejecting cancer in some patients, but not others, is now a core focus of Roche’s research and development strategy.

Ultimately, the goal is to build drug regimens that are tailored to the needs of individual patients, known as personalised cancer immunotherapy – and ones that will finally enable their immune systems to do what they’re designed to do and overcome the enemy within.


When the body’s own immune system fails, T-cell bispecific antibodies help T-cells spring back into action and attack cancer cells.

Learn how our research and development team managed to separate 200 known cancer types into three primary immune profiles.

The role of the immune system is to protect the body from foreign invaders. PD-L1 can help tumour cells evade the immune surveillance.

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