Best Immunotherapy Doctor in Bangalore|Dr. Murali Subramanian
What is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a type of biological treatment that uses the person’s own immune system to fight cancer. The immune system consists of white blood cells and other organs and tissues of the lymph system that helps your body fight infections and other diseases.
How does immunotherapy work against cancer?
Immunotherapy: How the Immune System Fights Cancer
Normally, in a healthy body, the immune system detects and destroys abnormal cells. Immune cells are found in and around tumors sometimes and this is a good sign. This shows that the patient’s immune system is fighting the abnormal cancer cells. These cells are called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes or TILs.
But even with the presence of these immune system cells, the cancer cells can grow. Some of the reasons for this are-
- Cancer cells have undergone some genetic changes that make them invisible to the immune system.
- Cancer cells have certain proteins on their surface that can make immune cells less effective.
- Cancer cells can make the normal cells around the tumour to interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system.
In such cases, immunotherapy helps the immune system to better fight against cancer.
What are the types of immunotherapy?
There are different types of immunotherapy
Immune checkpoint inhibitors :
Drugs administered to cancer patients to block immune checkpoints. Our body has these immune checkpoints normally to stop the immune system from responding strongly. Immune checkpoint inhibitors allow immune cells to respond more strongly than normally to fight the cancer cells.
T-cell transfer therapy:
As the name suggests, this therapy helps the T-cells to fight the cancer cells in a more effective manner. In this treatment ( also known as adoptive immunotherapy or adoptive cell therapy ), immune cells are taken from your tumour. This therapy involves retrieving the healthy cells from your tumour that are highly effective in fighting the cancer cells. These cells are grown and made more effective in a lab and then re-introduced back into the body.
This is a type of immunotherapy that involves lab designed immune system proteins that can bind to cancer cells. In some cases, the monoclonal antibodies are designed to make the cancer cells more conspicuous so that they will be more visible to the body’s immune system.
Treatment vaccines: These vaccines are not the same as the vaccines used to prevent diseases. They are used to boost the patient’s immune system to fight against cancer cells.
Immune system modulators : These modulators can be designed to either help boost specific areas of the immune system or the whole immune system.
How is immunotherapy given?
The various types of immunotherapy may be given in different ways.
- Intravenous (IV)
The immunotherapy goes directly into a vein.
The immunotherapy comes in pills or capsules that patients can swallow.
This tropical way involves application of simple cream on the body and can be used for early cancer.
The immunotherapy drugs goes directly into the bladder.
Where do you go for immunotherapy?
Patients can undergo immunotherapy treatment in a doctor’s clinic or outpatient unit in a hospital depending on the type. It does not require the patient to stay in the hospital.
To undergo immunotherapy treatment contact Dr Murali Subramanian, Best Immunotherapy Doctor in Bangalore
How often do patients need immunotherapy?
The treatment process of immunotherapy and the time period will depend on the following factors.
- Type of cancer
- Stage of cancer
- Type of immunotherapy
- The body’s response to treatment
Immunotherapy may be given in cycles. A cycle in any treatment refers to a period of treatment followed by a period of rest. The rest period is necessary to give your body a chance to recover.
How can you tell if immunotherapy is working?
Doctors, trained to work on immunotherapy can tell you if this particular mode of treatment is helping or not. If the doctor observes that immunotherapy techniques are yielding good results in fighting cancer then they will conduct frequent examinations and medical tests to assess the size of the tumour.
Further research on immunotherapy techniques will help the medical team get a better understanding of how cancer cells the immune system could lead to the development of new drugs that block those processes.