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Dr. Sravan Kumar Dubasi, Saturday, April 20, 2024

Revolutionizing Cancer Care: The Power of Immunotherapy

What is Immunotherapy?

Generally at the initial stages of cancer, when cancer cell are proliferating immune system of your body tries to kill the cancer cells. However, to counter this immune system, cancer cells develop mechanisms such that they are not destroyed and have sustained growth. This phenomenon is known as “immune evasion”. Immunotherapy reverses this immune evasion and boosts your immune system to kill cancer cells and thus helps to fight against the cancer

How is Immunotherapy given?

Just like chemotherapy, Immunotherapy is also given as IV infusions

Is Immunotherapy more toxic than chemotherapy?

Immunotherapy is not as toxic as chemotherapy. In fact it has less severe toxicities compared to that of chemotherapy and even frequency of toxicities are lesser. However, the side effect profiles of Immunotherapy are completely different, and one needs to be extremely vigilant to identify these side effects and manage them effectively

What are the side effects of Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy side effects are due to its mechanism of action i.e., due to boosting your system. Your immune system act against your body and manifest as side effects. Common side effects includes skin rash, hypothyroidism, diarrhoea, hepatitis. Less common side effects include interstitial lung disease, Kidney injury, adrenocortical insufficiency etc.

Can cancers be cured with Immunotherapy?

Among all the patients treated with Immunotherapy, nearly 10 to 20% of the cases are cured. Disease has not recurred at least for more than 5 years or sometimes never in lifetime. It would be good to say it has changed the lives of many individuals curing them from their cancer

How long should be Immunotherapy taken?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Ideally speaking, it should be indefinite. However, there is also evidence that 2 years of Immunotherapy would suffice for durable and sustainable responses.



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