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In this article: https://www.drugtargetreview.com/article/60516/developing-immunotherapies-for-hard-to-treat-cancers/

  1. I don't know the meaning of the phrase "multi-faceted approach" in these sentences:

    • Exploring how therapies with multi-faceted approaches could improve options for treatment-refractory cancers, like pancreatic and triple-negative breast cancer.

    • The multi-faceted approach to these immunotherapies should make it harder for cancers to develop resistance, meaning it could be applied to treat a range of cancers in the future.

  2. Also, after reading this article, I saw that the author mentioned only one approach called 'triangle offense'. However, in the summary, the author wrote "Exploring how therapies with multi-faceted approaches could improve options ..." (plural) and ,in the conclusions, he changed to "The multi-faceted approach to these immunotherapies should make it ..." (singular). Why?

  3. Moreover, the author also used "these immunotherapies" an awful lot but really I just only saw one immunotherapy that the author mentioned in this article.

Maybe I had not read it carefully, please point out the wrong place for me.

Really appreciate your help!

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  • 1
    I'd chalk it down to sloppy journalism and move on.
    – tripleee
    Jun 1, 2020 at 5:19
  • Could be the author was implying multifaceted treatment, therapy or intervention.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 2, 2020 at 11:51

2 Answers 2

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A facet is the side of a geometrical object, like a diamond, a dice, a pyramid.

Multi-faceted is often employed as an analogy, figuratively, metaphorically, means multiple perspectives, from different views, with different approaches.

It means that a concept can be deconstructed and approached from a variety of angles.

Facet is essentially the same word as Face, which side you face towards, the different faces of cube. Facet is a more sophisticated and precise word for objects in particular.

"Multi-faceted" has a nice sound to it when you listen carefully, and makes people sound extra clever, so it is a fairly popular expression.

If the writer is not being especially clear, you can presume that he is not exceptionally good at teaching, and writing, and is better at reasearch.

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Your points 2 and 3 are about use of the plural. The linked article isn't about a single therapy, but about the general subject of "multi-faceted" therapies. The following quote from the article is about just one such therapy, as an example:
"Patrick Soon-Shiong likes to talk about the “triangle offense,” the activation of a combination of macrophages, natural killer cells, and memory T-cells to battle cancer."

Referring to your point 1, the meaning of the term, as you can see from the example, this is an approach with the three mentioned facets, or aspects, making it a multi-faceted approach. The combination of the three simultaneous facets makes it harder for cancer cells to develop immunity.

The last sentence you partially quoted,

"The multi-faceted approach to these immunotherapies should make it harder for cancers to develop resistance, meaning it could be applied to treat a range of cancers in the future”

clearly means that immunotherapies that have multiple facets may be more effective against cancer. It might have been clearer with "of": "The multi-faceted approach of these immunotherapies...".

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