What is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy should be an essential part of any cancer treatment, especially after undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Because chemotherapy tears down the immune system leaving the body weak and vulnerable to additional illness it is important to build the immune system back up in order to put forth the strongest cancer resistance and fight.
Understanding immunotherapy’s capabilities and limitations the physicians at Sunridge Medical work together with patients to make informed decisions and optimize treatment outcomes.
The Power of Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy has emerged as a powerful and effective treatment option for many types of cancer. This type of therapy works by stimulating the body’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Immunotherapies can be used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as natural compounds, homeopathic therapy, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Unlike traditional chemotherapy treatments which focus on killing all rapidly dividing cells, immunotherapy specifically targets only cancerous cells. This reduces the risk of damaging healthy tissue and avoids some of the side effects associated with other forms of treatment.
With the right support, immunotherapy has the potential to revolutionize cancer care for many people.
Immunotherapy has been the core of treatment in the naturopathic world since its inception but now has revolutionized the way all physicians approach and treat cancer, offering patients hope of a successful outcome with fewer side effects than other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It is now being used more and more in combination with traditional therapies to increase the chances of successful treatment outcomes. Immunotherapy represents a huge leap forward in cancer treatment, and is continuing to be developed with the aim of giving patients better outcomes in their battle against cancer.
Immunotherapy and Cancer
For the treatment of cancer, immunotherapy refers to treatment of the immune system in an attempt to stimulate the immune system so that it can effectively reject and destroy tumors. The immune system is a very complex system of cells flowing through the body that not only provides defense against foreign invaders, but also must also be functioning at its best to protect against many disease states such as autoimmune diseases.
Immunotherapy is currently being studied for efficacy in treating a wide range of cancers, including those affecting breast, lung, colon, prostate, bladder, pancreas, and brain tissues.
Immunotherapy and Autoimmune Disease
Immunotherapy is increasingly being used to treat autoimmune diseases, as an alternative to more traditional treatments such as steroids. It works by manipulating the body’s immune system in order to reduce inflammation and suppress the overactive immune response that characterizes these conditions. Immunotherapies can be divided into two broad categories: active immunotherapies, which involve stimulating the body’s own defenses against disease; and passive immunotherapies, which involve introducing substances or cells from outside of the body in order to activate or inhibit particular responses from the immune system.
Passive immunotherapies involve introducing substances that act as external cues for the body’s own defense mechanisms. These substances can be antibodies produced by another organism and directed against a particular antigen or substance; antigens from other organisms that trigger an appropriate response from the body’s own defenses (such as vaccines); or drugs designed to activate or inhibit the body’s own immune cells. Examples of passive immunotherapies include intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIGs), and plasmapheresis.
Overall, immunotherapy presents a promising option for treating autoimmune diseases, offering potential benefits over traditional treatment methods.
References on Immunotherapy
Rezvani, Katayoun and Rouce, Rayne H., The Application of Natural Killer Cell Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Cancer, Frontiers in Immunology, VOLUME=6, 2015, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2015.00578, DOI=10.3389/fimmu.2015.00578, ISSN=1664-3224
Wang Y, Wang M, Wu HX, Xu RH. Advancing to the era of cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Commun (Lond). 2021 Sep;41(9):803-829. doi: 10.1002/cac2.12178. Epub 2021 Jun 24. PMID: 34165252; PMCID: PMC8441060. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34165252/
Cancer greatly affects the quality of life of humans worldwide and the number of patients suffering from it is continuously increasing. Over the last century, numerous treatments have been developed to improve the survival of cancer patients but substantial progress still needs to be made before cancer can be truly cured. In recent years, antitumor immunity has become the most debated topic in cancer research and the booming development of immunotherapy has led to a new epoch in cancer therapy.
In this review, we describe the relationships between tumors and the immune system, and the rise of immunotherapy. Then, we summarize the characteristics of tumor-associated immunity and immunotherapeutic strategies with various molecular mechanisms by showing the typical immune molecules whose antibodies are broadly used in the clinic and those that are still under investigation. We also discuss important elements from individual cells to the whole human body, including cellular mutations and modulation, metabolic reprogramming, the microbiome, and the immune contexture.
In addition, we also present new observations and technical advancements of both diagnostic and therapeutic methods aimed at cancer immunotherapy. Lastly, we discuss the controversies and challenges that negatively impact patient outcomes.
The current oncotherapy has being quickly evolved with the rise of antitumor immunotherapy. We are in an epoch with many opportunities for lengthening the lifespan of patients suffering from cancer. With the development of precision medicine, more appropriate individual treatments based on the comprehensive analysis of both tumors and the TME can be offered to patients.
However, opportunities are always accompanied by challenges. In 2020, Hegde et al listed the 10 largest challenges in cancer immunotherapy, covering issues ranging from preclinical experiments to therapeutic endpoints, that indicated the existence of insufficient recognition in cancer-related immunity. Despite all the setbacks in this field, we still hold full confidence in the potential of immunotherapy which can be realized with the use of more advanced medical devices and newly developed experimental methods.
Immunity is considered either the weapon or the armor with which humans are born, so the mobilization and usage of this system should be an ideal option for disease control. When treating cancer with new therapeutic methods, we should not only pay attention to the dynamic alterations in the TME but also consider the relationship between local lesions and the basic status of patients. As scientists gradually expand the knowledge of immunotherapy, medical research and cancer treatments will likely advance significantly in the next decade.
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