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Role of Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment

Did you know that most cancer treatment becomes more effective if your immunity is strong? Your entire genetic makeup along with the presence of a strong immune system not only reduces the chance of having cancer, but also helps one to recover faster. You may have heard of popular cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, but in the recent years, another popular cancer treatment has emerged which uses the immunity of the patient to fight the cancer cells. This treatment, which has gained wide popularity among the medical fraternity, is known as immunotherapy. So, let’s understand what is immunotherapy and how does it work?

Immunotherapy, also called as biological therapy, uses the patient’s own body or rather the immune system to fight the unwanted growth of cancer cells. The prescribed drugs used in immunotherapy helps in boosting the immune system internally, thus rapidly increasing the chances of better recovery. It is also considered one of the most advanced forms of cancer treatment and is currently under several ongoing trial phases. As we are aware, when a person is diagnosed with cancer, the malignant cells destroy the healthy cells of the body, which in turn makes the person immuno-compromised. But the human anatomy has a fascinating network of coping mechanism that guards our body from further damage.

In order to understand how immunotherapy works, one has to understand the immune system itself. So, our body comprises of powerful weapons in terms of the presence of T cells, APC cells and WBC or white blood cells. The APC cells target the cancer cells and further commands the T cells to fight the cancer cells. Under normal conditions, the cancer cells can outsmart the immune response by making the checkpoint stop from taking further action. However, with immunotherapy, what happens is that it inhibits the checkpoint from stopping, thus allowing the T cells to continue their fight against the cancer cells. This in turn, helps the body to produce strong antibodies that help to fight against the antigens.

Immunotherapy is widely used for cancers such as bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, kidney cancer, melanoma or skin cancer and lung cancer (small cell). With time, oncologists are recommending the use of immunotherapy for effective and viable cancer treatment. However, one must keep in mind that just as every human body is different, so its cancer treatment is also widely varied. There cannot be one definitive course of treatment because cancer requires a multi-modal approach. And if you are still confused as to the course of immunotherapy or skeptical about its effectiveness, book an appointment with us at V Care Cancer Center, which provides a 360 degree solution for cancer treatment. It’s one of the best cancer centres in Kolkata, with its provision of a multidisciplinary tumour board, spearheaded by none other than Dr. Vikash Kumar Agarwal, who has earned the reputation of being awarded (in 2017)  as the Oncosurgeon in India, by legendary cricketer, Kapil Dev himself. We believe that cancer is not only curable but also preventable and opening up new avenues of cancer treatment and documenting stories of winning over cancer, everyday.


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