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Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment

For a long time, the standard treatment regimen for cancer patients has been a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. However, in order to hopefully increase cancer survival rates, doctors and researchers are in the process of developing new treatment methods such as immunotherapy.

Cancer is incredibly difficult to treat because the disease is carried in the body’s own cells. Thus, the immune system is unable to recognize the threat, which means that cancer can spread unabated throughout your body. Immunotherapy is a method of treatment that enhances and strengthens the immune system so that it is better equipped to fight cancer.

How the Immune System Works

The immune system is made up of a variety of cells that all target different threats to your body. For instance, neutrophils recognize and digest any objects that do not carry your body’s “self” tags. On the other hand, cells like antibodies are targeted to fight specific pathogens, such as viruses, fungi, or bacterial infections.

Over time, your antibodies learn to fight the things to which you are exposed. This is basically how vaccines work. A vaccine exposes you to a tiny, weak portion of a disease such as smallpox so that your body can create antibodies that specifically target smallpox. Thus, you are always protected against the disease.

Types of Immunotherapy

There are several ways in which doctors alter the immune system so that it is better equipped to fight cancer. First, they can remove some cancerous cells from your body, tag them with signals that allow the immune system to recognize them, and then release them into your body so that your immune system can learn to fight against the cancer cells. This is like a cancer vaccine.

Additionally, some types of immunotherapy work to enhance the immune system by inserting more antibodies into the body to help you fight cancer.

Contact Us

Immunotherapy for cancer is still in its infancy stage. However, if you have been diagnosed with a cancer with a low survival rate, such as mesothelioma, it is important to consider all treatment options before you commit to a treatment plan. To learn more about mesothelioma and how it can be treated, please fill out the contact form located at the top of the page today.

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