Chemotherapy currently stands as the main treatment when it comes to treating most oncological diseases.
However, the side effects are very aggressive. In many cases, the majority of patients often suffer long-term consequences after they use chemotherapy to beat cancer.
However, this is still the best option for destroying cancer cells.
Nonetheless, this may soon change. As scientists point out, the future of cancer treatment is more hopeful and has a name: immunotherapy.
Prestigious oncologists such as Dr. Alfonso Berrocal have found that we’ll be able to train our body’s “security forces” to identify malignant cells more effectively and destroy them in the not-too-distant future.
We know this idea sounds like science fiction. However, immunotherapy is not magic. It’s a feasible alternative that can replace aggressive treatments like chemotherapy.
Below, you’ll find more information about this type of cancer treatment.
Immunotherapy is more effective and less aggressive than chemotherapy
When it comes to treating cancer, it’s always important to be in good hands and follow your doctor’s advice.
Although immunotherapy currently works well, it’s still in its experimental stages. Therefore, not all patients can benefit from this type of treatment.
At present, chemotherapy remains the most appropriate and necessary option.
However, some patients with more aggressive diseases, such as liver cancer, have seen great improvements in their condition after using immunotherapy.
Let’s look at more data to understand this type of treatment.
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What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy has a very specific purpose: to help the body’s own defenses locate and eradicate cancer cells.
There are several ways to do this:
- By neutralizing a protein on the cancer cells’ surface.
- Getting lymphocytes to neutralize and destroy tumors.
- In addition, scientists are also working on extracting white blood cells from patients to select those with higher anti-tumor activity.
- They then culture, activate and implant these cells back into the patient. This is how more powerful cells are obtained to fight the tumors.
- At present, a new approach is also underway: vaccines. These are called therapeutic vaccines. Once a person has been diagnosed with a type of cancer, the immune system “warns” that there is a danger.
- To give this “warning” and to get our body to react, specialists extract manipulated cancer cells with defenses to get a clue as to how they should act.
These types of vaccines have already been used in the United States to treat prostate cancer.
Is immunotherapy more effective than chemotherapy?
It will be in the future, but it isn’t now.
As we said earlier, immunotherapy is still in its experimental stages. So, at the moment, only patients with the most severe types of cancer receive immunotherapy.
However, the results are encouraging to date.
Unlike chemotherapy, immunotherapy is not aggressive.
Furthermore, immunotherapy is personalized and, above all, it is our own body that reacts to the cancer cells during this cancer treatment.
Doctors currently give this medicine to some patients who have no further cancer treatment alternatives available to them when chemotherapy fails.
Scientists tell us that it’s impossible to offer an “exclusive” approach to immunotherapy because it’s still in the experimental phase.
Within 10 years, researchers expect all of the studies on immunotherapy to be complete. Then, the vaccines will be commercialized.
Likewise, in a short time, 2 types of treatments will arrive on the market:
- First-generation drugs. These drugs are immune system simulators and are in charge of constantly activating lymphocytes.
- Second-generation drugs, on the other hand, will make our defenses stronger and more skillful against tumor cells.
Is immunotherapy the only “treatment” against cancer?
The answer is no. In the near future, we’ll actually have several types of more effective treatments to cure cancer.
Immunotherapy won’t be the only option available to us. Instead, there will be several multidisciplinary approaches depending on each patient:
- Surgery, for example, will still be necessary. Of course, the techniques will be better in the future.
- Immunotherapy will help us to prevent and treat cancer more effectively than chemotherapy.
- However, doctors point out that chemotherapy will still be necessary in some cases, as well as radiotherapy.
We’re be waiting to give you more hopeful news. Finally, always remember that science will not stop progressing to make cancer a more curable disease.