Your immune system is made up of primarily two things. The first is your white blood cells. The other is the tissues and organs of the lymphatic system, such as your bone marrow. The job of this system is warding off disease and illness, so you can stay healthy. Immunotherapy involves drugs
that give your immune system a boost.
They let it work harder so it has an easier time finding cancer cells and getting rid of them. A number of immunotherapy drugs have already been approved for fighting cancer. Hundreds more are getting tested in various clinical trials, which are research studies where volunteers are used in testing
out new medicines. If it feels like immunotherapy might be your best chance in fighting cancer, your physician might know of some clinical trials that you can join.
If one of your medical team suggests that immunotherapy might be right to fight the cancer that you have, then you have a lot to discuss with them before you decide if this is the right way to go. Having said that, your doctor might know many of the potential benefits of immunotherapy that could
help you to restore your health.
To start with, immunotherapy sometimes works when no other treatments do. A number of cancers, notably skin cancer, aren’t ones that respond well to chemotherapy or radiation. However, they are far more likely to start going away after the application of immunotherapy.
Secondly, even if you have other cancer treatments and they are working, immunotherapy might make them work better. Other forms of cancer therapy, such as chemotherapy, might work out better if you have immunotherapy added to your treatment.
Third, compared to other treatments, immunotherapy doesn’t have as many side effects. The big reason for this is because immunotherapy only targets your immune system, and not every cell in your body.
Your cancer might not be as likely to come back using this therapy. If you have immunotherapy, then your immune system will learn to go after any cancer cells that come back. This particular feature is known as immunomemory, and it might help you remain cancer-free for a much longer time. In giving
cancer patients immunotherapies, doctors are hoping to spark self-sustaining attacks against all kinds of cancer cells by using immune cells called T cells.
This can hopefully bring about long-term benefits, if not an eventual cure. The Cancer Research Institute, located in New York City, says that approximately two thousand various immunotherapeutic agents are currently in development. However, some patients respond to the drugs better than others.
Unfortunately, some patients don’t ever respond to this treatment. On top of all this, some tumors grow resistant to agents like these over time. Immunotherapy researchers are pushing the envelope by using combinations of multiple drugs at one time. At the time of writing, there were roughly eleven hundred
such combos being tested around the world.
As you can see, immunotherapy has numerous benefits and also tremendous growth potential. However, as with any medical treatment, there are potential side effects and risks. Talk to your doctor to learn what would be the best path for you.