Immune therapy is another formula for fighting cancer. Find out what it is and how it works.
Immunotherapy, what it is and where it is applied
Among the different paths chosen in the fight against cancer, immunotherapy has gained prominence in recent years and has become an encouraging way forward.
The development of cancer is associated with failures of the immune system that is ineffective in detecting tumor cells. The most widespread treatments focused on the elimination, through drugs or radiation, of cancer cells. Immunotherapy raises a different scenario in which the body is sought to work against cancer, something very different from chemotherapy as we know it.
The drugs associated with immunotherapy propose an enhancement of the immune system. This means that our body’s own natural defenses can act against cancer cells. In the new drugs related to immunology, the lymphocytes are targeted and differentiate and eliminate the tumor cells.
Applying immunotherapy to cancer is not new, but it is true that in recent years is showing its efficiency and that today the feeling within the scientific community is that there is still a long way to go. The horizon, yes, is hopeful.
So far, taking into account the two generations of drugs for immunotherapy, it has demonstrated its efficiency in melanoma, which is the most aggressive skin cancer. Positive results in lung cancer have also been tested, and their behavior is being studied for both head and neck or liver cancer.
The main characteristics go through the less toxicity of the treatment, in which we can find side effects very different from the traditional remedies. These side effects can lead to diarrhea, rash or itching, and usually respond well to mild immunosuppressants. On the other hand also it is necessary to emphasize that this type of solution induces memory to the style of the vaccines. That is, the body remembers how to act in case of a regrowth.
The great importance of this path in the fight against cancer lies both in the model of treatment proposed, much less aggressive than others, and also in the possibility of beginning to consider long-term survival in patients.
1.1 The advantages of immunotherapy
The advantages of immunotherapy, seen above could be defined as follows:
It increases the survival rate in melanoma and lung cancer but with very encouraging results in another type of cancer.
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It is less aggressive and with side effects easier to control.
It is a family of drugs that come from a long period of study and research. We are dealing with a safe medication model that has already evolved with respect to the first pharmacological families for this type of treatment.