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Also called biological therapy, immunotherapy is an evolving and promising type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system fight cancer through various inhibitors. The immune system works as the body’s defence system, which prevents infections and diseases.

While it's a relatively new cancer treatment in India, it has been delivering astonishing results to date. It stimulates the immune system to preserve healthy cells while identifying and halting the growth of cancer cells. It can also include:

  • Slowing or stopping cancer growth.
  • Stopping cancer from spreading into other parts.
  • Enhancing the immune system to destroy cancer cells.

When is it used?

Immunotherapy is a specialized treatment of cancer and may vary from patient to patient. So the therapy may works better for some Cancer We Treat than for others. However, it has become a standard part of cancer treatment, which can be implemented:

  • Before other types of treatment, such as surgery
  • Alone or in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy
  • To treat cancers that are resistant to other treatments
    • What are the benefits of immunotherapy?

      Immunotherapy enables oncologists to design a more effective cancer treatment that can offer better outcomes and a low chance of relapses. Other benefits include:

      • Better outcome
      • Less harm to healthy cells
      • Fewer side effects
      • Lower chance of recurrence
      • Improved quality of life

      How does it work?

      Cancer occurs when some genes in healthy cells change and start mutating. So if genes begin to mutate, proteins in cells also change. It causes cells to grow too quickly and live longer than they should. Even though the immune system can slow or stop cancer growth, cancer cells can avoid the immune system.

      Immunotherapy helps the immune system to ward off cancer by:

      • Stimulating, or boosting, the natural defences of your immune system against cancer cells
      • Producing substances that help the immune system to find and attack cancer cells more effectively

      What are the types of immunotherapy?

      There are several types of immunotherapies, which include:

      • Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a combination of drugs that block immune response from too strong, allowing them to target cancer cells with more aggression.
      • T-cell transfer therapy is specialized immunity cells with enhanced ability to find and destroy cancer.
      • Monoclonal antibodies are specialized proteins that mark cancer, so they can be easily identified and destroyed by the immune system.
      • Treatment vaccines trigger an active immune response to fight cancer cells and to prevent a recurrence. They can be administered on both cancer patients and the ones who are at risk of cancer.

      What types of cancers can be treated with immunotherapy?

      Setting the groundwork for future success, new ways of enhancing the immune system are being discovered swiftly. Therefore, Immunotherapy is evolving and emerging as a critical component of various cancer treatment, which include:

      • Bladder cancer
      • Brain tumour
      • Breast cancer
      • Cervical and ovarian cancer
      • Head and neck cancer
      • Urinary cancer
      • Pancreatic cancer
      • Leukaemia
      • Prostate cancer
      • Lymphoma

      What are the side effects?

      Immunotherapy can cause various side effects that depend on drug type and the body’s reactions to it. Some common side effects can include:

      • Infusion-related reactions
      • Diarrhoea
      • Pain and fatigue
      • Fever and headaches
      • Skin rash
      • Mouth sores

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