Immunotherapy Named Biggest Breakthrough In Cancer Treatment
The good guys have made some major advances in the war against cancer over the past few years. One of the biggest advances involves a form of treatment known as immunotherapy. This line of research, in fact, shows so much promise the American Society of Clinical Oncology has named immunotherapy as its advance of the year for 2016.
Immunotherapy is a rather unique approach for fighting cancer. This form of therapy is designed to prime the body’s own immune system to better fight this disease head-on. The idea behind it is getting the immune system to kill off cancer cells much like they do other foreign invaders, such as bacteria. If killing off the cells is not entirely possible, immunotherapy may be used to slow cancer growth. It may be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatments, depending on a patient’s unique case.
While much work remains to be done on this promising front, several drugs are now on the market that have shown tremendous progress in treating advanced melanoma. Immunotherapy in advanced melanoma has proven so successful, in fact, that patients who once only had life expectancies of months are now living years.
Immunotherapy has shown so much promise that work is under way to bring this form of treatment to fruition in other types of cancer. Research, in fact, is active on immunotherapy drugs that may someday help bodies fight advanced kidney, lung, bladder, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other fatal forms of cancer more effectively.
Cancer treatment has come a long way in the last few decades and most especially the last few years. Immunotherapy is a promising new option that simply leverages the body’s own defenses to stop cancer in its tracks.
People who are diagnosed with cancer should speak with their healthcare providers about all treatment options. Immunotherapy may or may not be available for treatment of a particular form of cancer. Many other options, however, are available depending on the type of cancer and its stage and aggressiveness.