As a popular saying reminds us, timing is everything, and that’s also true with cancer treatment. Researchers have discovered that pre-surgical cancer immunotherapy can improve outcomes with certain types of cancer.
How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Chemotherapy, surgery and other traditional cancer treatments have been used with varying degrees of success. Maximum dose limits and tumor resistance are some of the drawbacks that hamper their use. These therapies also affect healthy cells as well, resulting in side effects ranging from mild to serious.
As the name implies, immunotherapy aims to boost the ability of the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. Since immunotherapy is a non-toxic treatment, it potentially eliminates or reduces many of the common side effects that accompany other methods.
Since cancer cells are derived from normal cells, the immune system on its own will often ignore them. Immunotherapy serves as “reinforcements” by training the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells.
Benefits of Pre-Surgical Cancer Immunotherapy
Antibody therapy promotes the process of phagocytosis, in which macrophages actually ingest cancer cells. This treatment works best on leukemia rather than solid tumors.
Surgery is often the first course of treatment with tumors such as colorectal cancer, especially when the cancer has not yet spread, or metastasized. Unfortunately, surgery sometimes allows cancer cells to seep into the bloodstream, where they can circulate throughout the body.
Post-surgery antibody therapy has not been particularly effective. However, experimental models have shown that pre-surgical antibody therapy can stimulate phagocytosis with macrophages that are already present in the liver, which filters blood.
Personalized Therapies for Long-Term Success
Our individually-tailored therapies have helped a number of stage 4 patients achieve long-term remission, even when other treatments have failed. Contact us to learn more about the Issels® Difference.