Everything You Need to Know About Immunotherapy Medicine
Cancer is an intimidating disease. People all over the world are trying to find a cure for cancer. While this was a more significant issue back in the days, half of the cancers are treatable in recent times. Cancer formation is a slow process. It takes 10 to 30 years to form. Cancer has a significant impact all over the world. Statistics show that cancer is the second largest leading cause of death. It is estimated that cancer is responsible for an average of 9.6 million dying each year. Therefore, 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Low and middle-income countries account for 70% of deaths from cancer.
Therefore, it is imperative to find ways to combat the disease. While it is still an ongoing battle, technology and medical science have come a long way and is now trying to fight off cancer as soon as possible. Immunotherapy medicine is one such cause of medical advancements. While the branch is relatively new, immunotherapy has become one of the most popular treatments in the last few decades. Immunotherapy medicine in India has improved a lot in recent times.
How is Immunotherapy helpful in cancer treatment?
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that enhances the natural defenses, the immune system to fight cancer. Therefore, in immunotherapy treatments, the body uses natural or laboratory substances to strengthen the immune system to fight the cancer cells in the body.
The body consists of several complex processes in order to fight off illnesses and germs. The process involves a number of cells, organs, and proteins. Cancer is notorious for breaking down the immune system in the process and grow continuously. Immunotherapy aims to stop this from happening by enhancing the immune system to fight and destroy these cancer cells.
There are many different types of immunotherapy. They work in different ways. Some immunotherapy treatments help slow down the growth of the cancer cells so as to have some time to determine the next step of the treatment whereas, others try to destroy the cancer cells entirely in order to stop them from spreading to the various parts of the body. Immunotherapy treatments can also be used alongside other cancer treatments.
Some popular types of immunotherapy are cancer vaccines, oncolytic virus therapy, T-cell therapy, and tumor-agnostics and mitochondrial antibodies treatments like checkpoint inhibitors.
What is DENVAX therapy?
DENVAX is an immunotherapy treatment for dendritic-cell based cancer. This treatment can be used during various stages of the disease. DENVAX is an autologous treatment that helps transform the mononuclear cells into cancer-specific dendritic cells. DENVAX targets the cancer cells and does not harm the healthy ones. Not only is it a safe and effective treatment, but it also relapse and recurrences of the cells, which is a severe issue of cancer treatment. A relapse occurs when, despite destroying the cells, some cancer cells are left behind in the body, and they remain dormant for a certain period of time. After some time, they become active again and start multiplying, causing cancer to resurface. This small collection of left-over cancer cells is called micrometastasis.
Practices like surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments are ineffective in removing the micrometastasis. They are pretty hard to detect and can be a starting point for the recurrence of cancer. DENVAX is useful in this case, as the treatment targets the micrometastasis and eradicates the cells. This prevents any further development and slows or stops cancer spread, thus improving the patient’s life expectancy.
What are the side effects of DENVAX therapy?
The most common side effects are fever and lethargy. The fever lasts from 24 to 48 hours. You can also take paracetamol to combat the fever. Apart from that, some of the other side effects are:
- There will be a feeling of nausea for a couple of days after the treatment. In most cases, patients do not require any medication for this side effect.
- You might also feel lazy for a few weeks. If this symptom does not subside after a couple of weeks, it is best to call your doctor.
- DENVAX therapy is not affected by your alcohol intake or consumption.
What are some of the pros and cons of immunotherapy?
Like everything else, there are specific pros and cons of immunotherapy. Here are some of them listed below:
- It is effective: Some cancers do not respond well to cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
- There are fewer side-effects: Since immunotherapy targets the immune system and not the cells of the body, the side-effects are little to none.
- It works better than other cancer treatments: Immunotherapy does not only work better individually but also helps other treatments like chemotherapy to work better and effectively.
- There are some side effects like fever, lethargy, weight gain, and diarrhea.
- The medication may cause your body to hurt a little.
Immunotherapy is a great way to combat cancer. Nowadays, immunotherapy is one of the famous cancer treatments in the world.