Immunotherapy as a treatment for cancer

in StemSocial2 months ago

One of the diseases that causes the greatest number of deaths globally is undoubtedly cancer. Unfortunately some are diagnosed very late, when there is nothing more to do, the reasons for this are multiple, it may be because of carelessness of the patient or because they do not have fast or timely medical care or simply do not have the financial means to go to the doctor.

In short, all cancer is a great social problem, as well as an individual problem for those who suffer from it. So far there are several methods to avoid it or to treat it, where we can include radiotherapy and chemotherapy, however, currently there are also other methods, some in the development phase, a few others already endorsed for use, which give a great sign of hope.

I would like to talk about some methods such as immunotherapy that are giving good results in the treatment of cancer. If you do not know what I mean when I talk about **immunotherapy I invite you to continue reading what I am about to tell you, I am sure you will be interested.

Pixabay/ Author:shafin_protic

Before we continue, let's define immunotherapy:

It is a treatment that uses the body's immune system to fight disease. Especially cancer. It is based on the idea of stimulating or boosting the immune system so that it is able to recognize and destroy cancer cells. There are several different types of immunotherapy, including antibody therapy, cytokine therapy and immune cell therapy.

The immune system is our body's natural system that is responsible for fighting infections (viral, bacterial, etc). Nowadays it is very well understood how it works from the molecular point of view, which has allowed the development of drugs that can reinforce it or, as in the case I want to talk about, how to manipulate it so that it is strengthened and specific in the attack on tumor cells.

The immune system is a set of mechanisms that protect the body against disease, including cancer. The immune system can detect and destroy cancer cells before they develop into tumors.

However, cancer cells often evolve to avoid detection and destruction by the immune system. Immunotherapy seeks to reactivate or boost the immune system so that it can detect and destroy cancer cells. This is a very interesting and innovative use case.

Pixabay/ Author: jarmoluk

But in addition to being a treatment, what I am going to describe next, is being assumed to be a vaccine, because it is being used very specifically to prevent some types of cancer, in addition to treating it. What is being done is to train the immune system to identify and attack the cancer, but in a highly specific way, How do they do it??

The FDA-approved vaccine known as SpileucelT uses dendritic cells to treat prostate cancer. These cells, which are found in the periphery of the body and circulate in the blood, can be trained to act as an intermediary between CD8 lymphocytes (the cells that destroy cancer) and cancer cells.

Perhaps the question arises as to How these cells are trained, was something I particularly wondered about immediately. The way is as follows:

The production of the vaccine with dendritic cells involves several steps. First, peripheral blood is drawn from the patient, as this is where the dendritic cells are found. These cells are then separated and purified. A biopsy of the tumor is performed to obtain cancer cells, which are brought into contact with the dendritic cells. The latter "ingest" the cancer cells and adopt the tumor-specific proteins, exposing them on their surface.

This is what is known as trained dendritic cells. Finally, they are injected back into the patient to train the CD8 T cells with that information, and the latter destroy the tumor.

Pixabay/ Author: PDPics

I don't know if this has impressed you, but for my part, just by imagining the whole process I am fascinated. It is very easy to say, but behind this discovery there are decades of studies to be able to first know how our immune system works and additionally to achieve the methods to purify, expose both cells and determine how it behaves, in short, it is a real development race of decades of evolution.

There are many more that are being worked on, which seems to me to be a great point in favor of the fight against this disease. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, millions of people die annually as a result of this pathology. But, the same happens with AIDS, however it is still happening and it is a viral disease that has been with human beings for more than 40 years, what I can't explain is why there is still no cure or vaccine for it.

The pandemic arose due to Covid, a new disease, and they quickly created the vaccine and en masse, but despite the fact that HIV has claimed tens or hundreds of millions of lives, there is still only treatment to mitigate the symptoms. I don't want to get into the realm of conspiracy theories... but these things are sobering.

Well, I hope that this news, that this information is to your total liking, I feel that it is very good, and it is something where progress is being made for the good of many. I hope that none of us will have to use a treatment for a disease like this. I would like to know what you think about it, if you have something to add you can leave it in the comments and so we all benefit.


Time for our immune system to do something useful for once, instead of giving us autoimmune :D

The immune system can play against us at times, but fortunately, in this case, usage is a very good thing.

The only method I know then of treating cancer then is chemotherapy

immunotherapy is much much more precise ! chemotherapy fucks all cells in the body lol

This is the important part, the precision, plus the fact that the adverse effects are minor.

There are other methods. Even surgery is part of the treatment for some types of cancer.

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There are developments of an HIV vaccine, but still, in trials, some failed a lot... HIV is much much more variable than COVID... you are seeing now that COVID is becoming more variable and it is difficult to follow the same effect compared to the beginning ... check this out:


Interesting article, thank you. From what I see there have been many failures and limitations in finding an effective vaccine. Failing at stage 3 means it has been after years of studies and a lot of money invested in it.
I hope that soon something good can be achieved against this disease, beyond retrovirals, which is enough.


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