Why Immunotherapy is Used in Cancer Treatment
1. What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells start to grow uncontrollably. It is either Benign or Malignant. Cancer destroys the normal cells and body tissues thus affecting the normal function and mechanism of the body. Benign is the lump that is not cancer and Malignant is the lump that is Cancer.
2. How Does Cancer Start?
Cancer could develop anywhere in the body. Not only this when cancer metastasizes (spreads) it starts involving other parts of the body too. Cancer starts when abnormal cells start growing uncontrollably. When the old cells don’t die, grow abnormally and uncontrollably and form new abnormal cells. These extra cells form a mass or clump together to form a tumor.
3. Types of Cancer
Five major types of cancer are –
Carcinoma – Carcinoma is cancer that originates from the skin, breasts, pancreas, or other organs.
Sarcoma – Sarcoma is the cancer of connective tissue like muscle, fat, blood vessels.
Melanoma – Melanoma arises in the cells that make skin pigment.
Lymphoma – Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system of the body.
Leukemia – Leukemia is the cancer of the blood, bone marrow.
4. What is Immunotherapy in Cancer?
Immunotherapy has become an important therapy to treat some types of cancer. Immunotherapy works best for some cancers, other immunotherapy combined with other lines of treatment works better.
Now the question arises, What is Immunotherapy in Cancer? Immunotherapy also called Cancer Immunotherapy is a line of treatment in which the patient’s own immune system prevents and controls cancer.
Immunotherapy is approved and prescribed treatment therapy by oncologists these days. Various researches and clinical trials had been carried out already to identify how effective the treatment is.
Immunotherapy works differently for every patient. In some patients it shows a remarkable cure however in some patients side effects had been observed. However, Immunotherapy is an effective therapy that has saved many lives till date.
5. Cost of Immunotherapy For cancer in India
The cost of Immunotherapy for cancer in India ranges from 1344 USD to 4032 USD for 1 cycle. The patient requires in total 3 to 4 cycles depending on the stage and type of cancer. However, the cost could vary as per clinical terms and guidelines and might also vary depending on various other factors.
There are various best cancer hospitals in India that provide quality treatment at a low budget for this complex disease.
6. How is Immunotherapy Used For Cancer Treatment?
Immunotherapy is an effective therapy to fight against cancer. It simply works by boosting the immune system to fight against cancer or by making a substance like the components of the immune system in a laboratory. These similar-looking substances are used to identify, find and attack the cancer cells. The cost of Immunotherapy for Cancer in India is cheaper and economical compared to other western countries.
7. What Types of Cancer Immunotherapy Treat?
Immunotherapy is used to treat various types of cancer. Immunotherapy in Lung cancer is very effective and is widely used as a line of treatment. However, Immunotherapy is not limited to only this type of cancer. Immunotherapy in cancer is used to treat other types of cancers too such as
- Brain tumor
- Breast cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Liver cancer
8. What are the Types of Immunotherapy?
The various types of Immunotherapy used to treat cancer are –
Monoclonal Antibodies – These immune system proteins are made in the laboratory. They find and mark the cancer cells that are destroyed by the immune system.
Cancer treatment Vaccines – These cancer treatment vaccines work by improving the immune system against cancer. Cancer treatment vaccines are different from cancer prevention vaccines. Cancer treatment vaccines are used in people with cancer.
Immunomodulators – They boost the body’s immune system against cancer. They find and attack cancer cells and destroy them.
Adoptive T Cell therapy or T cell transfer therapy – T cell therapy modifies and improves T cells to kill the cancer cells. In this procedure, cells are taken from the tumor. They are changed in the laboratory, put back in the body intravenously to kill cancer cells.
9. How is Immunotherapy done?
Immunotherapy is done in the following ways –
Orally – By oral route it is given in the form of tablets or pills to swallow.
Intravenous mode – The immunotherapy is done through an intravenous route.
Topical – For early diagnosed cancer only it is helpful. Immunotherapy is given in the form of cream to destroy cancer cells.
10. How Long is Immunotherapy Treatment Given?
Treatment depends on the stage of cancer, type of cancer, overall health, and immunotherapy how well the patient responds to the treatment.
It also depends on whether the cancer is advanced or what type of immunotherapy is given to the patient. Treatment is given every day, in a week or in cycles. In some patients, the treatment continues for 2 years or more.
11. Who are Eligible Candidates For Immunotherapy?
The eligibility of candidates for Immunotherapy depends on the type of cancer and the stage of cancer. In cases where the drug therapy and other conventional therapy are not effective anymore, Immunotherapy for such patients works as an alternate line of treatment.
Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer is very helpful especially in Nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCL) which is commonly diagnosed among cancer patients. If cancer has spread to other areas (metastasized) or if the cancer is at an advanced stage few studies have proved that the patients who have received Immunotherapy as a line of treatment have shown a very good response to treatment.
12. Is Immunotherapy Helpful and Effective as a Line of Treatment?
To check the effectiveness of Immunotherapy you might often need to consult your healthcare specialist. Investigations like blood tests, radiographic examination, a physical examination would be carried out to check how your body is fighting against cancer and how well the response you are showing with Immunotherapy as the line of treatment.
However, the success rate depends on the type of cancer, stage of cancer and individual patient response. In general, Immunotherapy is very helpful and effective against many cancers.
Some of the Best Hospitals For Cancer Treatment are:
- Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon
- Global Hospital, Chennai
- Max Hospital Saket
- Fortis Hospital, Bangalore
- Sheba Medical Center, Israel
- Acibadem Hospitals Group, Istanbul, Turkey
13. What Are The Complications of Immunotherapy?
There could be various possible complications you may experience with Immunotherapy.
These include –
2. Muscle pain
6. Not feel like having food
8. Ulcers in the mouth
9. Difficulty in breathing
Final Note – You must always consult your healthcare specialist to discuss the right treatment as per your disease.
Helpful – Chemotherapy FAQ