Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Immunotherapy is 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 your own immune system to work harder or smarter to attack cancer cells
– Giving you immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins

Some types of immunotherapy are also sometimes called biologic therapy or biotherapy.In the last few decades     immunotherapy has become an important part of treating some types of cancer. Newer types of immune treatments are now being studied, and they’ll impact how we treat cancer in the future.

Immunotherapy 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.

Types of cancer immunotherapy

The main types of immunotherapy now being used to treat cancer include:

Monoclonal antibodies: These are man-made versions of immune system proteins. Antibodies can be very useful in treating cancer because they can be designed to attack a very specific part of a cancer cell.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors: These drugs basically take the ‘brakes’ off the immune system, which helps it recognize and attack cancer cells.
Other, non-specific immunotherapies: These treatments boost the immune system in a general way, but this can still help the immune system attack cancer cells.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Immunotherapy

Among the advantages of immunotherapy are the following:
– Uses the body’s own immune system
– Fewer side effects than chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy
– It is tolerated well as an adjuvant therapy and can be given along with chemotherapy
– Decreases the risk of recurrence by 50%
– Can improve long-term survival by 30%

What are the Disadvantages of Immunotherapy?

The disadvantages of immunotherapy have to do with their side effects as listed before:
– Fever
– Chills
– Nausea
– Diarrhea
– Vomiting
– Generalized pain – particularly in the bones, joints and legs
– Weakness or Fatigue
– Headaches
– Rashes

What are the More Serious Risks?

The most serious potential side effects that may lead to permanent health-related issues are cardiotoxicity and pulmonary toxicity.

How to Manage the Risks

Since trastuzumab does have serious potential side effects, particularly in the elderly, it is important to understand how to prevent them. The following are some helpful tips:
– Talk to your doctor about your entire medical history. This includes conditions such as allergies, asthma, heart murmurs and any medical conditions that are being treated with medicine.
– Your doctor will likely perform a few tests on your heart and lungs prior to beginning therapy, to see what the baseline function is, making monitoring more effective.
– Your heart and lungs will be monitored at least once every three months while you are taking the drug to ensure that they are not being damaged.

Cancer Cure Today

Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

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