HOW IMMUNOTHERAPY TREATMENT USED IN CANCER?
February 14, 2020
“Conquering Cancer from Within, Immunotherapy, the new Hope for cancer patients “
Immunotherapy is an innovation in cancer treatment that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight cancer-causing cells. This prepares the immune system to identify and kill cancer cells. It also activates the immune system to kill cancer cells by using antibodies. Most of these are currently available in Our India. (Immunotherapy in India )
What the immune system does
The immune system keeps track of all the toxins naturally found in the body. Every new substance that the immune system does not know triggers an alarm, which causes the immune system to attack it.
For example, germs contain substances such as certain proteins that are not normally found in the human body. The immune system sees these as “foreign” and attacks them. The immune response can destroy anything containing the foreign substance, such as germs or cancer cells.
Scientists have found ways to help the immune system identify cancer cells and enhance their response so that they can be killed. In this way, your own body, with some support from science, is actually getting rid of cancer.
How does immunotherapy Works?
Immunotherapy may work by:
- Stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells
- Stopping cancer from spreading to other parts of the body
- Helping the immune system work better at destroying cancer cells
Benefits of immunotherapy:
It is an affordable therapy with the highest success rates and with no side effects like hair loss, infections, pain, damage to the taste buds, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, etc. Also, it makes sure that the normal cells don’t get destroyed during the treatment. Immunotherapy can cause cancer to go into remission and, in rare cases, might even cure people who previously might have been incurable, many Researchers say.
Who benefits from immunotherapy?
The main drawback is that it doesn’t work for every patient or every type of cancer. And, determining who will benefit isn’t an exact science. Even among patients who have cancers that are known to respond, though, it’s hard to predict who will benefit.
Dr VIMALATHITHAN Oncologist in south India says , Still Researchers not yet perfect at picking out who will benefit the most,” “But we do have some tools in Science to help us decide.”
“We look at what’s called the tumor mutation burden. By sequencing the DNA of the tumor, we determine whether cancer contains a high level of mutated genetic material. If so, it’s more likely to respond, because it’s easier for the immune system to recognize and attack these tumors.
Types of cancer immunotherapy
There are several main types of immunotherapy used to treat cancer, and many are being studied. Following are commonly used Immunotherapy now a days and practicing in India.
• Checkpoint inhibitors: These drugs basically take the ‘brakes’ off the immune system, which helps it recognize and attack cancer cells.
• Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy: This therapy takes some T-cells from a patient’s blood, mixes them with a special virus that makes the T-cells learn how to attach to tumor cells, and then gives the cells back to the patient so they can find, attach to, and kill the cancer.
• Cytokines: This treatment uses cytokines (small proteins that carry messages between cells) to stimulate the immune cells to attack cancer.
• Immunomodulators: This group of drugs generally boosts parts of the immune system to treat certain types of cancer.
• Cancer vaccines: Vaccines are substances put into the body to start an immune response against certain diseases. We usually think of them as being given to healthy people to help prevent infections. But some vaccines can help prevent or treat cancer.
• Monoclonal antibodies (mABs or Moabs): These are man-made versions of immune system proteins. mAbs can be very useful in treating cancer because they can be designed to attack a very specific part of a cancer cell.
• Oncolytic viruses: This treatment uses viruses that have been modified in a lab to infect and kill certain tumor cells..