Your body’s immune system does an amazing job of protecting you from viruses, bacteria and other invaders. Tumor cells are able to avoid detection as foreign bodies, but immunotherapy for cancer is removing this advantage by boosting your body’s natural defenses.
How Cancer “Hijacks” the Immune System
When foreign cells invade your body, they carry proteins called antigens that trigger an immune response. Your system produces antibodies that bind with the antigens, which either neutralize the rogue cells on their own or alert T-cells to attack and destroy them.
While cancer cells also produce antigens, they manage to evade the normal process by hijacking the checkpoints that signal the immune system to attack. The cells remain undetected, allowing them to multiply as they continue to weaken the immune system.
Penetrating the Shield around Cancer Cells
Instead of using external treatments like radiation and chemotherapy to fight tumors, immunotherapy for cancer focuses on boosting the natural abilities of the immune system by “training” it to recognize and attack cancer cells. These methods include:
- Drugs containing lab-made monoclonal antibodies that bind to cancer cell antigens and block the normal proteins that “disguise” them
- Vaccines containing proteins that help the immune system recognize antigens on tumor cells
Issels®: A Personalized Approach
Immunotherapy for cancer has become a valuable alternative or supplement to traditional treatments, but each patient’s case is different. We use specialized testing to create an integrative treatment method that addresses your particular needs.
Contact us today to learn why Issels® has been a leader in the successful use of immunotherapy treatments.
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