Caring For Life
IKIRU IMMUNOTHERAPY CLINIC
|Monday – Friday||10 – 15 clock|
|Sat. – Sun.||By arrangement|
+49 (0) 211 976 319 45
IKIRU IMMUNOTHERAPY CLINIC
Pradus Medical Center
Telefon: +49 (0) 211 / 976 319 45
Telefax: +49 (0) 211 / 976 319 07
How Does Cancer Immunotherapy Work?
Immunotherapy is a method that makes use of a patient’s immune system to eliminate inimical cell growth, like that of a cancer. Conventionally, this can be done in a variety of ways, for example by improving the output of a person’s immune system or by raising its cell-killing efficiency. Similarly, the immune system can be strengthened by feeding it additional proteins. Finally, live mechanisms can also be used to fight undesirable cell growth, giving rise to the term ”biotherapy”.
In recent years, immunotherapy has come in its own in the fight against cancer with new fields of study opening up and various new treatments not available to earlier generations. Immunotherapy is not a fixed frame of reference in that therapeutic success depends on the existing immunity shape of a patient which is obviously not the same for everybody. Thus, new immunotherapies are currently being studied which will increasingly affect cancer treatments of the future.
Some of these work in a general way by raising the patient’s overall health level while others direct the immune system to act against specific types of cancer cells. The many types of different treatments and the body’s varying responses to it cause the great variety of therapeutic outcomes.
The Function of the Immune System
The immune system is a bewildering array of cells, agents and organs designed to protect a person from illnesses, specifically infections. Immune cells regularly traverse the body searching for pathogens and germs that might cause a disease. This includes cancel cells, of course.
The way the immune system searches for possible mischief is interesting: It “remembers” all substances it normally comes across in the body but any new substance not recognized due to a new type of protein it contains causes the system to attack the intruder. While its cell-killing efficiency is high, depending on the general state of health of the patient, it is obviously no panacea. Cancer cells, for example, are not always recognized as foreign and may be considered harmless when in fact they are not. Excellent patient health likewise does not afford 100% protection as even healthy individuals can have a cancer risk. Finally, the constant mutation of cancer cells often confuses the immune system, leading it astray with false messages or making effective counterattacks more difficult. However, research is ongoing to find ways to strengthen the body’s immune system and target its response specifically at cancer cells.
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