Role of Immunotherapy in Cancer Patients

Studies have found that Immunotherapy has the potential to change the way all types of cancer are treated and cured.Cancer Immunotherapy is an exciting area of discovery, with the creation of various treatments and tests for cancer
Immunotherapy is easy to understand, and very effective for cancer patients, as it is the type of treatment that works with your body’s immune system to fight cancer and kill cancer cells. The immune system’s purpose is to attack any cell that it sees as unhealthy or abnormal. Cancer cells can hide from these defenses or even stop an attack. Nowadays, new technology and knowledge about Immunotherapy is leading to new treatment options for Cancer. Although there are many promising results, Immunotherapy does not work for every cancer type or patient. There is still a lot that researchers don’t know.

How Does Immunotherapy Work

Immunotherapy suppresses the inhibitory signals produced by cancer cells to evade the immune system and mark cancer cells, so it is easier for the immune system to find and destroy them. A healthy immune system does not attack cells that appear to be a part of you. Cancer cells come from our own cells, so the immune system often has difficulty knowing which cells to fight, and they can sometimes hide from the immune system.
Should every patient of cancer receive Immunotherapy? No. There are only specific indications where Immunotherapy works. It does not work for everyone. Some of the best results from the treatment are seen in patients with metastatic lung cancer.

Types of Cancer Immunotherapy Can Treat

Through ongoing research, we’re learning more about how the immune system interacts with cancer, and have been using that information to develop new ways of treating the disease. Immunotherapy is currently used to treat the following cancers:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Bone marrow disorders
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Synovial Cell Sarcoma

Types of Immunotherapy

Most Immunotherapies today are biologic therapies— made by living organisms. They help fight cancer by:

  • Boosting the immune system. A “revved up” immune system can fight cancer better.
  • “Marking” cancer cells so that your immune system can find and destroy them. This keeps cancer from being able to hide.
  • Helping the immune system find cancer cells and deliver treatment (like chemotherapy, radiation, or even T cells) directly to the cancer cells.

Does Immunotherapy have side effects? Most of the side effects are usually mild and manageable. Immunotherapy related side effects can involve any organ of the body, but as said above, most of them are mild. It can turn out to be fatal for some patients. In some patients, cancer progresses very fast, which is called, Hyper progression. So, it is important for one to be cautious in carefully selecting patients for Immunotherapy.

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