Understanding Immunotherapy : How Immunotherapy Is Used To Treat Cancer

Immunotherapy is a broad term for a type of cancer treatment that triggers the body’s immune system to combat cancerous cells. The immunotherapy treatment uses certain substances to improve the function of the immune system to detect and fight cancer cells. The substances involving in immunotherapy include either the laboratory ones or antibodies from the body to destroy cancer cells. Moreover, immunotherapy can effectively boost the body’s ability to fight cancer by using the natural defense system. There are different types of immunotherapy that are in practice for the treatment of cancer and the patient can opt for the best-suited type to treat their cancer. Immunotherapy is the perfect choice for some types of cancer, such as melanoma, prostate cancer, and bladder cancer. [1]

However, immunotherapy does not always work miracles in case of every type of cancer, but research is going on for treating all types of cancer through immunotherapy. Other names for immunotherapy are biological therapies and targeted treatments. The body’s immune system functions its best to protect the body from illness, disease, infections, and the development of cancer. Th immune system works in association with white blood cells, spleen, and lymph glands to fight cancerous cells. Also, the immune system recognizes the presence of faulty cells and then destroys them. A cancer might start developing when the cancer cells induce signals that inhibit the immune system from attacking them and also when the immune system is too weak to destroy the cancer cells even after detecting their presence.

Immunotherapy is a standard treatment to trigger the immune system to first recognize and then kill the cancer cells to prevent the further progression of cancer in the body. In case of certain cancer patients, the cancer cells manage to hide from the immune system but the immunotherapy aids in detecting and combating of these cancer cells. The different types of immunotherapy work differently to improve the function of the immune system. It is important to understand that cancer cells are not as same as normal cells of the body, the cancer cells do not die generally. Cancer cells tend to divide rapidly in an out-of-control manner and these abnormal cells rapidly mutate and evade the immune system thus stopping the body’s natural defense system. After the abnormal division of cancer cells, the immune system is no longer able to protect the body from infections and diseases.

The drugs in use for immunotherapy help in alerting the immune system about the mutated cancer cells and then destroying them. Immunotherapy can be a treatment option for several types of cancer and you can use it in combination with other treatment options as well. Tons of researches are focusing on various major aspects to improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy by testing different combinations to overcome the resistance against immunotherapy. Although immunotherapy works best for certain cancers, but it only a few patients respond well to the treatment. Immunotherapy works perfectly for treating prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and cervical cancer. It is the ultimate decision of the cancer patients and caregivers to pursue for immunotherapy and the doctors can customize the treatment course according to the patient’s concerns. [2]