4 Advances in Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment
Cancer immunotherapy, or biologic therapy, is a technique that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
While immunotherapies for cancer have existed for some time, the worldwide work toward a cure for cancer continues to highlight new and novel immunotherapeutic targets. Scientists are creating life-changing new cancer treatments through the concepts of joint therapy and engineered T-cells. With the near daily discovery of new immunotherapeutic targets, it is the hope that effective therapies will soon exist for all tumor profiles.
What is oncolytic virus therapy and how is it being used as a form of immunotherapy to treat cancer?
Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases in the world, affecting millions of people every year. Although there are many treatments available for cancer, most of them are invasive and can cause many side effects that are detrimental to the overall health of the patient. However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in immunotherapy as a treatment for cancer. Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the power of the immune system to fight cancer cells. In this article, we will discuss four advances in immunotherapy for cancer treatment.
1. CAR T-cell therapy
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that involves modifying a patient’s T-cells, which are a type of white blood cell, to attack cancer cells. This is done by extracting T-cells from the patient’s blood and then engineering them with a protein that targets cancer cells. Once the T-cells are modified, they are infused back into the patient’s bloodstream where they can seek out and destroy cancer cells.
CAR T-cell therapy has been used successfully to treat a type of blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It has also shown promise in the treatment of other types of cancer, including lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
2. Checkpoint inhibitors
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. These drugs work by blocking checkpoint proteins on the surface of cancer cells that prevent the immune system from attacking them. By blocking these checkpoint proteins, immune checkpoint inhibitors allow the immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign and attack them.
Checkpoint inhibitors have been used to treat several types of cancer, including melanoma, lung cancer, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer. They have been shown to be effective in some patients who have not seen improvement with other cancer treatments.
3. Cancer vaccines
Cancer vaccines are a type of immunotherapy that are designed to boost the immune system’s ability to recognize and attack cancer cells. These vaccines work by exposing the immune system to proteins that are found on the surface of cancer cells. When the immune system recognizes these proteins, it will launch an attack on the cancer cells.
There are several types of cancer vaccines currently being developed, including personalized vaccines that are tailored to each patient’s specific cancer. These vaccines have shown promise in early clinical trials and could be an effective treatment option for some types of cancer.
4. Oncolytic virus therapy
Oncolytic virus therapy is a form of immunotherapy that uses viruses to infect and destroy cancer cells. The viruses used in this therapy are engineered to selectively infect cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Once the virus infects a cancer cell, it will replicate and spread to other cancer cells, eventually destroying the tumor.
Oncolytic virus therapy has been used to treat several types of cancer, including melanoma and brain cancer. It has shown promise in early clinical trials and could be a promising treatment option for some types of cancer.
In conclusion, immunotherapy is a rapidly growing field that holds promise for the treatment of cancer. These advances, such as CAR T-cell therapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, cancer vaccines, and oncolytic virus therapy, have shown promise in clinical trials and are being further developed to offer more options for patients with cancer. Although there is still much research to be done, the future of cancer treatment looks promising.