Cancer immunotherapy is, in a word, tantalizing. It might save the life of someone at death’s door and keep the cancer at bay for years. Or it might not work at all. There’s no telling what a patient will experience.
“There’s a real poverty of understanding of how the machine that is us works,” says Roger Perlmutter, the executive vice president of pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE: MRK) and the head of its research division, Merck Research Laboratories.