Immunotherapy in modern medicine
January 17, 2019
Some time ago, the diagnosis “cancer” sounded like a sentence, but thanks to the rapid development of medicine, the terrible ailment of the doctors of clinics all over the world is successfully managing today. The results of treatment clearly demonstrate the fact that cancer is not a verdict, but only a trouble that can be managed.
Immunotherapy is separated from other methods because it treats cancerous tumors with the help of the patient’s immunity. The principle of action is to destroy diseased cells that from the first sight seem to be healthy. One of the methods of immunotherapy allows doctors to find such tumors in the early stages and activate the immune system to protect the body and prevent the development of the disease.
Another method enhances immunity and makes it possible to fight oncology in other ways.
In spite of the initial stage of failures, the last years were marked by the flourishing of immunotherapy. The most important mechanisms by which malignant cells escape from the immune control were discovered. In particular, the scientists discovered their ability to have an effect on the “control points” of the immune system, which are normally responsible for controlling the strength and duration of the natural immune response and capable of “turning it off” if necessary.
Under the normal conditions, these mechanisms are essential in limiting damage to its own tissues during the immune response and in preventing the development of so-called autoimmune reactions, processes of damage and rejection of healthy tissues.
Suppression of the excessive activity of such mechanisms is a promising direction for the development of anticancer medicaments. The idea is to increase the mechanism that is initially inherent in the body to fight cancer, the immune system of the organism.
After all, it is the immune system who must first protect from various diseases. By tracking all the substances that are presented in the body in the normal condition, the immune system reacts to the appearance of “intruders”, the warning is sounded and it attacks them. The problem is that it is not so easy for immunity to recognize cancer cells as unwanted and harmful elements. But the immune system can help with this. Immuno-oncological drugs are designed to enhance the natural ability of the immune system to fight a tumor.
Of course, it is a difficult and complex process: immunostimulating drugs do not work in all cases, their effectiveness depends on the specific cancer subtype. So, for accurate determination, it is necessary to analyze the tumor tissue for biomarkers. But in cases where the drug is compatible, it demonstrates good results.
So, what is a realistic perspective of immunotherapy in the fight against cancer? A quite realistic statement is that cancer will pass into the category of diseases with which people can live a long and full life by correcting therapy in time. Patients with diabetes also need constant monitoring and medication, their illness is incurable, but with the proper approach it does not interfere with living and making plans for the future. Leading world experts hope for success results in cancer treatment today.