Using Your Own Immune System to Fight Cancer


Immunotherapy, a new generation treatment method, breaks ground in
the treatment of cancer diseases. Immunotherapy treatment, which has
much fewer side effects than chemotherapy and targeted smart treatments,
has a more permanent effect and higher treatment success.
Immunotherapy, which is used in the treatment of more than 20 types of
cancer such as lung and kidney in the USA, has been used for a subgroup
of breast cancer called triple negative since 2018.

Activates the immune system (immune system)

Some
of our cells in the body turn into tumor cells in the course of our
daily life. However, “T cells”, which are found in the human immune
system and are called “soldier cells”, destroy cancer cells to a great
extent. A group of cancerous cells gets rid of these attacks and
develops resistance against T cells. Cancer cells suppress the immune
system while avoiding extinction by giving the message that they are not
foreign to the soldier cells. Immunotherapy treatment eliminates this
pressure on the immune system, activates the immune system and enables
‘soldier’ T cells to destroy cancer. In other words, it has a
stimulating effect for the person’s own immune system to fight cancer
cells. 

 

It is applied as a treatment in more than 20 types of cancer

Immunotherapy,
which started with the treatment of melanoma, which is a skin cancer
type, in 2011, after years of chemotherapy and targeted smart drugs, and
is currently under development, is applied as a treatment method in
more than 20 types of cancer. Although there are many different types of
immunotherapies such as cell and vaccine treatments, these are
sometimes perceived as “Check Point Inhibitors” when it comes to
immunotherapy.


It creates memory in immune system cells and provides a permanent treatment response

Immunotherapy
treatment can provide much better and longer-lasting responses than
chemotherapy and targeted smart treatments. While the most important
problem in chemotherapy and targeted therapies is the failure of the
treatment response, permanent and long-term responses can be achieved in
a group of patients in immunotherapy. This permanent response is
provided by creating a memory in T cells in the immune system. 

 

Immunotherapy is especially used in metastatic cancers

While
full recovery can be achieved in early stage cancer patients, most
patients with metastasis cannot be fully cured. With treatment, it is
aimed to extend the life of these patients without impairing their
quality of life. Immunotherapy is currently used especially in
metastatic cancers. 

 

Less side effects than other treatment methods

Immunotherapy
shows more tolerable side effects than chemotherapy and targeted smart
treatments. In chemotherapy, patients experience side effects such as
nausea, vomiting, hair loss, low blood values, weakness and fatigue. In
immunotherapy treatment, these side effects decrease very much; Mild
side effects occur, such as skin rashes, diarrhea, endocrine disorders. 

 

It started to be used in triple negative type of breast cancer

As
an immunotherapy drug, atezolizumab was shown to prolong life
(survival) in the metastatic stage of area triple negative disease,
which is an aggressive subgroup of breast cancer, in 2018, and it was
started to be used in some countries with approval. While only
chemotherapy was used in these patients before, nowadays the
effectiveness of immunotherapy is clearly demonstrated. Again, in a
recent study, pembrolizumab, as another immunotherapy drug in early
stage disease in triple negative breast cancer, showed a high response
rate and survival success. Today, breast cancer is a disease in which
the effectiveness of immunotherapies is shown and developments continue.

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