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Pembrolizumab is a type of medication called a monoclonal antibody. It works by targeting a specific part of your immune system called the PD-1 receptor, which is found on certain immune cells called T cells.

Normally, cancer cells can use a trick to hide from your immune system by using proteins called PD-L1 and PD-L2. These proteins interact with the PD-1 receptor on T cells, telling them not to attack the cancer cells. Pembrolizumab works by blocking this interaction, essentially taking the brakes off your immune system and allowing it to recognize and attack the cancer cells more effectively.

This helps your immune system fight against the cancer and may improve your chances of responding to treatment. However, it’s important to be aware that Pembrolizumab can also cause side effects by activating your immune system, so your healthcare team will closely monitor you for any potential issues while you’re receiving treatment.