Immunotherapy|Cancer Treatment|Best Therapy for cancer Patient|Future of Cancer Treatment|Treatment of Cancer|Side Effects of Immunotherapy
IMMUNOTHERAPY- THE FUTURE OF CANCER TREATMENT
The immune system helps the body to defend itself against organisms and other invaders that can cause infections. It is spread throughout the body and involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. When the Immune system confronts any pathogens, it sets an immune response, which helps in eliminating the pathogen, in steps.
The study of the immune system is termed as immunology. Immunotherapy, however, is a specific field in immunology that deals with the treatment of diseases by boosting or suppressing the immune system response. Sometimes, it happens so, that the body initiates a full-scale attack against its own healthy cells and tissues, in such cases the bodies immune system must be suppressed. The other example that can be taken is cancer cells, whereby the immune system needs to be activated at specific spots.
One of the most important applications of immunotherapy is in the Treatment of Cancer. Cells when they grow abnormally and have the tendency to spread to other body parts lead to cancer. There are many types of cancer treatment, but none can really to do the work without having any side effects. A very popular treatment of cancer is chemotherapy which unlike radiation therapy and surgery treats cancer in the whole body.
Immunotherapy is another type of cancer treatment that basically activates or boosts the bodies defense against cancer cell growth. This involves training the immune system to recognize the cancerous growth and making it fight cancer. This happens by slowing and stopping the growth of cancer cell, and preventing it from spreading to different parts of the body. The vaccines available induces the generation of proteins that are very specific to the cancer cells. In a type of immunotherapy, the white blood cells are taken out from the patient’s body and treated in such a way that they recognize cancer cells and act on them, this is basically an adoptive cell transfer; this particular method is in its early stages and has a long way to go. There is a type of immunotherapy called oncolytic virus therapy, here virus which is genetically modified is used to kill the cancer cells. The virus, when injected, it enters the cancer cell and makes copies of itself because of which the cell bursts and dies releasing antigens which awaken the patient’s immune system to target all the cancer cells in the body which have similar antigens.
Side Effects of Immunotherapy
The side effects of immunotherapy are less when compared to radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as they target the immune system and not the cell in the body. In addition to that cancer may be less likely to return. As we all know that “all good things come at a cost”, immunotherapy also has certain side effects like flu, fever, fatigue, heart palpitation, weight gain due to extra fluids. The drug used in immunotherapy sometimes attacks organs, it some cases it takes longer to work and it is not universal as it works differently for different people.
According to Dr. James P. Allison, the recipient of the 2018 Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in one of his interviews mentioned that the current understanding of immunotherapy is still a scratch on the surface. He mentioned that for immunotherapy to work properly the mechanism of T cells must be known and understood properly. Immunotherapy can work well with all the other three treatment known to man. The current goal is to find a way in which it works in an optimized manner.