Is Immunotherapy Really Effective in Cancer Treatment?

Your immune system is made up of your white blood cells plus your lymph system’s organs and tissues, like your bone marrow. Its main job is to help your body fight off disease and stay healthy. Immunotherapy drugs help your immune system work harder or make it easier to find and get rid of cancer cells. Several immunotherapy drugs have been approved to fight cancer, and hundreds more are being tested in clinical trials. If immunotherapy seems like the best way to fight your cancer, your doctor may know of a clinical trial you can join. Recent advances in treating cancer patients have resulted in the development of biological therapies that can prove to be a promising alternative to conventional cancer therapies. Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s immune system to identify and fight effectively against cancer cells.

How Immunotherapy Is Used to Treat Cancer?

Immuno therapy cancer is a treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. This can be done in a couple of ways:

Stimulating, or boosting, the natural defenses of your immune system, so it works harder or smarter to find and attack cancer cells. Unlike chemotherapy, which acts directly on cancerous tumors, immunotherapy treats patients by acting on their immune system. Immunotherapy can boost the immune response in the body as well as teach the immune system how to identify and destroy cancer cells. Making substances in a lab that are just like immune system components and using them to help restore or improve how your immune system works to find and attack cancer cells. In the last few decades immunotherapy has become an essential part of treating some types of cancer. New immunotherapy treatments are being tested and approved, and new ways of working with the immune system are being discovered quickly.

Immuno therapy cancer works better for some types of cancer than for others. It’s used by itself for some of these cancers, but for others, it seems to work better when used with other types of treatment. Immunotherapy works by attacking the growth of cancer cells or stimulating the immune system to kill cancer cells. Contradictory to the standard cancer treatment regimes such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, which act on both normal and cancerous cells, immuno-therapeutic treatments are highly specific. A wide range of cancer immuno-therapy approaches exists, such as immune checkpoint blockers, cancer vaccines, immune-modulators, monoclonal antibodies, and cell-based immuno-therapies have demonstrated to be effective against cancer patients.

What Are the Benefits?

There are many reasons your doctor might think about why immunotherapy is a good choice for you:

  1. Immuno therapy cancer may work when other treatments don’t. Some cancers (like skin cancer) don’t respond well to radiation or chemotherapy but start to go away after immunotherapy.
  2. It can help other cancer treatments work better. Other therapies you have, like chemotherapy, may work better if you also have immunotherapy.
  3. It causes fewer side effects than other treatments. This is because it targets just your immune system and not all the cells in your body.
  4. Your cancer may be less likely to return. When you have immunotherapy, your immune system learns to go after cancer cells if they ever come back.

Not everyone benefits from immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a therapy recognized and applied in a complementary way to conventional treatments, but it plays a marginal role in official anti-cancer therapies. Consequently, its real use in most of the public hospitals is very limited. How you may be able to get an immune activation may be different, but in all cases, the principle that underlies it, namely strengthening the body’s natural defenses, can be crucial for cancer patients. However, we are just scratching the surface of understanding what factors can be used to identify the patients who may benefit the most from immunotherapy. Researchers are studying what can help us better predict if a treatment will work in a particular person, such as the number of mutations or the number of inflammatory cells in a tumor.

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