Can immunotherapy be used to slow down aging?

Aging can be classified using several categories which cluster around a reduction in responsiveness, as well as functional dysregulation. Immune system aging is also believed to be at the core of driving an organism’s aging process. Thus, using immunotherapy to rejuvenate the immune system has potential benefits in regulating homeostasis and reinforcing immune responses to environmental perturbations. Prematurely aged immune cells have been found in cases of chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Several factors, including faulty DNA repair and maintenance of T cells have been implicated in this phenomenon, but immunotherapy has been shown to be dramatically effective at slowing down disease progression and even reversing its effects.1 Similarly, using immunotherapy to modulate an aging individual's reactive immune system can also be implemented, and future strategies geared towards combating the detrimental effects of aging continue to be researched.

1. R. Elias, et al., "Immunotherapy comes of age: Immune aging & checkpoint inhibitors," J Geriatr Oncol 8(3):229-235, 2017.