Immunotherapy, is it being used too late to treat Cancer?

 

Recent Studies show that Immunotherapy can be used for more cancer types than originally thought, and some studies suggest it should even be used sooner.

Immunotherapy is a biologic therapy that is currently being used for some types of cancers, such as melanomas, but studies are showing it works for other types as well i.e. head, neck and prostate cancers.

Immunotherapy works by stimulating our immune system to find and attack cancer cells on its own.  Cancer and other unhealthy cells can hide from our immune system and some can even prevent it from working properly. Immunotherapy is mainly used when most other options have been exhausted, but some experts believe that for some patients, it would be more effective as a first choice for treatment.

Immunotherapy is used with other treatments and has fewer side effects than chemotherapy, furthermore patients live longer and have a better quality of life.  Currently there are a few types of immunotherapy:

Monoclonal

Monoclonal are antibodies that are made in a laboratory.  They are currently used as both a target therapy to prevent certain protein growth i.e. tumors, and as an immunotherapy treatment,

Check Point Inhibitors

Check point Inhibitors help the immune system to use antibodies to release immune checkpoints, that cancerous cells have blocked.

Vaccines

Vaccines help the body fight disease by exposing our system to an antigen in small amounts so that the immune system can recognize and destroy it and similar toxins.

Immunotherapy needs to be looked at as more of a preventative measure.  I’ve observed that many, if not all of the blood and bone cancer patients that I knew, had had a previous melanoma which had been treated with external measures, such as burning or cutting off a portion of the skin.  I believe that Immunotherapy should be included at this point, almost like a dose of antibiotics.  Please note, I do not have a medical background; my opinion comes from witnessing others enduring the process, and my subsequent research.

If you would like more information on cancer and immunotherapy you can go to the following sites:

https://www.cancer.net/blog/2018-02/what-you-need-know-about-immunotherapy-side-effects

https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/chemotherapy-and-other-drug-therapies/immunotherapy/?region=on

https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/how-cancer-treated/immunotherapy-and-vaccines/understanding-immunotherapy