After years of research, scientists are still unable to pinpoint the causes and predictors of cancer with absolute certainty. The good news is that immunotherapy for cancer now offers hope for patients who previously had few options.
An Immunotherapy Success Story
One such patient was Tish Vigna. Four years ago she was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in her left lung, despite being a physically fit non-smoker. She underwent a course of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery only to discover that the cancer had spread to her right lung.
Tish’s oncologist suggested that she enter a clinical trial of immunotherapy for cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. After months of treatment, doctors found that the tumors had shrunk in half and there has been no subsequent growth.
How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Immunotherapy is a process of boosting the ability of your own immune system to fight cancer cells naturally. These treatments generally fall within two categories:
- With adoptive T-cell therapy, doctors extract the attacking T-cells from a patient’s tumor to increase their numbers. The cells are then re-entered into the patient’s system where they are now better equipped for battle.
- The immune system has a braking mechanism that prevents it from going into overdrive. Checkpoint inhibitors disable these brakes so the T-cells can attack cancer cells with full force.
Issels®: Leading the Way with Immunotherapy
While immunotherapy for cancer has been making a big splash in the medical community recently, Issels® has been successfully using these personally tailored treatments for decades. Contact us today for more information about our immunotherapy programs such as cancer vaccines and NK cells.