Basic Knowledge to Understand Immunotherapy

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Basic Knowledge to Understand Immunotherapy

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a specific branch of modern medicine that works on either stimulating or suppressing the human’s system’s natural immune response. Usually, immunosuppression is done in patients requiring organ transplants to reduce the chances of the body rejecting the transplanted organ. In such cases, immunosuppression is necessary to overcome the body’s natural response the fight the entry of anything that it considers to be foreign to it. In the cases of people who are suffering from autoimmune conditions where the immune system of the body is impaired or not functioning efficiently, activation immunotherapy is recommended. Activation immunotherapy is especially effective as a part of cancer treatment protocols as it helps to activate the body’s natural immune response and prevent relapse of cancer post therapy.

Are there many types of immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is at the cutting edge of modern medical research especially with regard to the treatment of cancers. Vaccines are one kind of immunotherapy whereby the body’s defenses are deliberately enhanced to protect it from specific infections. In other kinds of immunotherapy used for cancer, there could be a direct approach followed to locate and destroy the cancer cells or indirectly by boosting the body’s immune system to help it fight against the cancer cells. In other forms of immunotherapy, a specialist may also attempt to clone the T-cells which are essential for immunity.

Why is immunotherapy recommended for treatment of cancer?

When it comes to new methods for the treatment of cancer, immunotherapy is now highly recommended wither with or without other interventions.

Most cancer treatment protocols are invasive and have fairly intense side effects. Apart from battling the progression of the disease itself, the patient also has to cope with the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation or other cancer inhibiting drugs. These can severely impact the quality of life for the individual. Immunotherapy has been repeatedly proven to be safe and relatively free of such intense side effects that are associated with conventional cancer treatments. It is for these reasons that many oncologists are recommending immunotherapy in the treatment of various forms of cancer.

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