by Ranabir Bhattacharyya | 16 APR 2018
Dr Hari Goyal, Senior Oncologist, Artemis Hospital Gurgaon talks about the role of immunotherapy on Dendritic cells.
Immunotherapy is a broad treatment approaches designed to empowers the human immune system to overcome cancer and other debilitating diseases. Immunotherapy essentially uses your own body to fight cancer. Basically to understand immunotherapy as a form of cancer treatment, we first have to take a look at some of the mechanisms behind the way most types of cancer fool the body's immune system. The immune system is designed to know the difference between your cells and cells that don’t belong in your body, like a virus or fungus. A healthy immune system does not attack cells that appear to be part of you. Cancer cells come from our cells so the immune system often has difficulty knowing which cells to fight and they can sometimes hide from the immune system. As cancer grows, it can change, or mutate, and can further evade our immune system, or can even slow our immune system down. One main purpose of the immune system is to deal with sick cells and stop them developing into malignant tumors. The immune system's T-cells do this by binding themselves with specific receptors to the surface proteins on cancer cells and releasing substances that kill the sick cells.
Cancer cells have found out how to evade these attacks by the immune system. They do so by encasing themselves in transmitter substances which prevent them from being recognized by the T-cells' receptors. This is what happens when melanoma develops. All the immune system can do is to stand by and watch the malignant tumors grow ever larger. If the immune system is unable to bind to the sick cells, it cannot kill them. One of the ideas behind immunotherapy is to produce antibodies which block the cancer cells' transmitter molecules, doing so sets the immune system free again so that it can launch a new attack on the cancer cells.
One reason that cancer cells thrive is because they are able to hide from your immune system. Certain immunotherapy’s can mark cancer cells so it is easier for the immune system to find and destroy them. Other immunotherapy’s boost your immune system to work better against cancer.
The immune system is known for its remarkable ability to locate, recognize and attack invaders like the virus that causes the common cold. However, the immune system is not always able to eliminate cancer cells when they form. And once malignant tumors develop, they can use a variety of evasion tactics to outwit the immune system.
Scientists are discovering new ways to tap into the immune system's inherent disease-fighting power and give it the upper hand against cancer. The most exciting part of immunotherapy is that immunotherapy harness the immune system to recognize and target diseased cells but avoid healthy cells; they have the potential to be more effective while causing fewer of the side effects common to traditional cancer treatments.
In contrast to other forms of treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, where foreign substances or damaging radiation are used to fight the tumor, the treatment with dendritic cells uses the body‘s own immune system for fighting the cancer.
Compared to other forms of treatment, side effects only occur very rarely after vaccination with dendritic cells. If they do so at all, they subside quickly and affect the patient only slightly or not at all. Therefore, no ho- spiral stay is required for the treatment, since it can be performed on an outpatient basis. For these reasons, the vaccination with dendritic cells can be carried out in addition to other treatments. Care should be taken, however, that the timing of the various treatments is coordinated properly. Although the number of studies on the therapeutic benefit of dendritic cells in the treatment of tumors. Is growing constantly, standard treatments should under no circumstances be cast aside. These forms of treatment have largely proven their effectiveness in extensive studies and represent the basic therapy for quite a number.
For Appointments : Dr Hari Goyal, Senior Oncologist, Artemis Hospital Gurgaon.
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