- December 28, 2018
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Business Development, Healthcare items, International, Medical Devices, Medisenator, New projects, Senator Medical AB
But how does the immunotherapy work?
Immunotherapy uses our immune system to fight cancer. It works by helping the immune system recognise and attack cancer cells.
Our immune system works to protect the body against infection, illness and disease. It can also protect us from the development of cancer. The immune system includes the lymph glands, spleen and white blood cells. Normally, it can spot and destroy faulty cells in the body, stopping cancer developing. But a cancer might develop when:
- The immune system recognises cancer cells but it is not strong enough to kill the cancer cells
- The cancer cells produce signals that stop the immune system from attacking it
- The cancer cells hide or escape from the immune system
Immunotherapy is not yet as widely used as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy uses medication to kill cancer cells and radiotherapy means the use of radiation, usually X-rays, to treat illness.
Immunotherapy uses the natural power of your immune system to fight illnesses, and has been approved to treat people with many types of cancer.
There are different types of immunotherapy, some of which are also called targeted therapies or biological therapies.
Monoclonal antibodies (MABs)
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced molecules engineered to serve as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system’s attack on cancer cells. They are designed to bind to antigens that are generally more numerous on the surface of cancer cells than healthy cells. This process is called antibody dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC).
Vaccines to treat cancer
Normally, vaccines help to protect us from disease, and researchers are looking at whether vaccines can be used as a treatment to help the immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells.
When you have the vaccine, it stimulates the immune system into action. The immune system makes antibodies that can recognise and attack the harmless versions of the disease. Once the body has made these antibodies it can recognise the disease if you come into contact with it again. So you’re protected from it.
Cytokines are a group of proteins in the body that play an important part in boosting the immune system. Interferon and interleukin are types of cytokines found in the body. Scientists have developed man made versions of these to treat some types of cancer.
Adoptive cell transfer
Adoptive cell transfer changes the genes in a person’s white blood cells (T cells) to help them recognise and kill cancer cells. Changing the T cell in this way is called genetically engineering the T cell.
This treatment is only available as part of a clinical trial in the UK. An example of a type of adoptive cell transfer is CAR T-cell therapy.
Source: Cancer Research UK, Senator Medical AB, Medisenator
Keywords: Senator Medical AB, Immunotherapy, Nobel Prize, Sweden 2018, cytokines, vaccine therapy, Medisenator, Monoclonal Antibodies, Cancer treatment, Oncology, Edutainment