Immunotherapy against cancer: boosting the immune system

In fact, immotherapy against cancers act by different methods, such as that of stimulating immunity . We talk about active immunotherapy . It consists of directing and directing the action of the immune system to increase its effects against cancer. For this, doctors use substances, such as cytokines that "boost" immunity.

This type of treatment is the subject of numerous researches around the world and in France. Researchers are particularly interested in one type of white blood cell: T8 lymphocytes.

Raise the brakes preventing the immune system from acting

Another way used by immunotherapy is to remove the brakes that prevent the immune system from acting fully in certain cancers. In this area, we also see many new drugs arrive ... These block proteins present on white blood cells (lymphocytes) and will thus remove the brake that prevents the immune system from acting fully against cancer.

These drugs that block PD-1 or CTLA-4 proteins are called nivolumab or ipilmumab. Work has shown their activity in melanomas, certain lung cancers, ENT cancers, and are under study in many other tumors. It should be noted that the effectiveness of these treatments increases when they are combined.

Other avenues of research concern so-called therapeutic vaccination. It is an anti-cancer immunotherapy that acts specifically against cancer, with the aim of destroying diseased cells. This treatment is not yet available for patients, as research is still needed. These studies are done on lung cancer, melanoma, etc.

Immunotherapy against cancer is a growing discipline. It is now part of the therapeutic arsenal anti-cancer. And we still expect a lot of research on immunotherapy.

In oncology, many new drugs related to this immunotherapy are under development. Very often it is seen that the results are better when using several immunotherapy drugs to prevent the phenomena of resistance to treatment.

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Read also :

> True / False about chemotherapy
> Radiation therapy: limiting side effects

Sources and notes

> Sandler A, et al. Paclitaxel-carboplatin alone with bevacizumab for non-small-sell lung cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2006. Inca.
> Inca website 2015.
> J.Larkin et al, Combined Nivolumab and Ipilumumab or Monoptherapy in Untreated Melanoma, New England Journal of Medicine, May 31, 2015.

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