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In March 25, it is reported that Washington University School of Medicine located in the St Louis are just published a study in the Development Cell journal, revealing the effectiveness of immunotherapy of younger cells. A new form of therapy which could be the new option in cancer care.
The senior author of the study, Christopher M. Sturgeon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of medicine, state “We can only speculate at this point, but it’s possible that during early embryonic development, when there is so much rapid cell division, these cells are there as a surveillance mechanism to protect against pediatric cancers or infection,”
The study shows that the younger the cells are, the more effective to be in immunotherapy, a therapy which involves different types of therapy that focus using the body’s immune cells from a matched donor into a cancer patient.
The most common types of cancers around are Prostate cancer, Colorectal cancer, Prostate cancer, Skin cancer, Stomach cancer, Breast cancer, and Lung cancer. Out of all these common types of cancers, Lung cancer is the most common of them all.
To treat lung cancer, people choose to chemotherapy, which has to deal with involving the whole body to radiation. Another alternative for treatments that people choose is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is
There 8 common types of immunotherapy. There are mABs ( monoclonal antibodies ), cancer vaccines, Cytokine therapies, Adoptive T Cell Transfer, DLI ( Donor Lymphocyte Therapy), Radioimmunotherapy, Virus Immunotherapy, and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.
Monoclonal antibodies include pricely manufactured drugs like bevacizumab produced by Avastin, rituximab produced by Rituxan, trastuzumab developed by Herceptin, and denosumab by Xgeva, and Prolia. Monoclonal anitibodies therapy try to surpress the cancer cell by using the person’s immune system to destroy a protein found on the surface of cancer cell and to block the receptors found on the cancer from growing.
Cytokine therapy drugs include interferon, interlukin, and sargramostism produced by Leukine and GM-CFS. What these drugs do is create a connection and communtication between different immunce cells to create a response by the immune system.
Cancer vaccines are not like your typical flu vaccines, but they are comprised of the same methods. Cancer vaccines are cells that have been developed in a lap to target an immune system response. The different cancer vaccines that are admnistered are the antigen vaccines, the dendritic cell vaccines, the tumor cell vaccines, the antigen vaccines, or the vector-based vaccines.
Another type of immunotherapy is Adoptive T-Cell transfer. Common Adoptive T-Cell transfer immunotherapy treatments that are out there are axicabtagene ciloleucel and tisagencleucel. What these treatments do is target the cancer cells with the body;s T-cells. The are two types of treatments to administer Adoptive T-cell transfer. The first treatment get T-Cells from the body’s tumor. These T-Cells are reproduced and multiplied in a lab and get reinserted back to the patient to fight the cancer cell. The second treatment does the same method of laboratory work, but the extracted T-Cells are improved by receptors called CAR-T, chimeric antigen receptors. The receptors then attack specific proteins in the cells called antigens, which therefore start the stimulation of the immune system’s response against that type of cancer.
The Virus immunotherapy uses viruses to cancer cells infections to trigger an immune system response against the cancer cells. Viruses like the polio virus and the herpes simplex virus are currently being studied for this therapy include in clinical trials.
Immune Checkpoint inhibitors include drugs like nivolumab being produced by Opdivo, the pembrolizumab produced by Keytruda, and ipilimumab being produced by Yervoy. These drugs assist T cells to active the immune system by blocking tumor cells from deactivating the T cells.
Last but not least, DLI (Donor Lymphocyte Therapy ) immunotherapy involves infusing white blood cells called lymphocytes from a healthy patient to a cancer patient. The white blood cells purpose is to identify targers for the immune system to attack. It is specifically administered to help patients with bone marrow transplants in potentially preventing relapse .
Lastly, Radioimmunotherapy is a combination of both the monoclonal antibody, which was discussed above, combined with a radiation source. This helps to deliver radiation to specific tumor cells in small doses over a long period of time. Drugs that are considered radioimmunotherapy are ibritumomab tiuxetan produced by Zevalin.
Immunotherapy treatments are typically every 2 to 3 weeks, and the drugs stay effective for a long period of time since they are consistently assisting the body’s immune system. The may still be effective even after stoping to take them.
Combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy is a good idea because unlike chemotherapy, it does not target the whole body with radiation. Instead, it focuses on specific tumor cells and work with the body’s immune system.
As fas as the size of a tumor, immunotherapy is less effective in shrinking the sike compared to chemotherapy. It is recognized that immunotherapy only increases the tumor in about 1 or 2 out of 10 patinets.
The price of getting an immunotherapy drug and treatment in the US healthcare system is a very steep. It can range to the cost of getting a house in Florida. Study shows that the average cost of immunotherapy drugs from the mid – 1990’s were in the $50,000 range, compared to today, which is now in the $250,000 range.