Immunotherapy against cancer - A recoverable approach

Immunotherapy against cancer -  A recoverable approach

The mechanism of working of this drug includes removal of the concealment that cancer cells use to dodge the action of immune system on them. According to a study by an international journal, this drug has proved amazingly successful in helping patients to completely recover from terminal cancer of bladder.


Mechanism: The immunotherapy named MPDL3280A, basically works on an anti PD-L1 mechanism. The human immune system creates vigorous response to most exterior chemicals but some of them camouflage themselves and dampen the effect. PD-L1 is a protein which tumours use in the body of affected, to hide themselves from attack of immune system. This drug developed by the company Roche, under a team of eminent international scientists was especially meant for patients at the last stage of terminal bladder cancer. When tested on 68 such patients, an astounding result was obtained. More than 50 percent of the patients showed signs of recovery and two of them showed no signs of cancer after the completion of treatment. If the drug appears successful after a larger trial, it will be launched on a massive scale in the market by the end of 2015.

Scope for more research: The discovery of this new drug has opened the gates for further research and experimentation in order to develop such ground breaking medicines for other variety of cancers too. Coming at a time when there have been no progressive advancements in this field since the past 30 years, alongside chemotherapy and surgery, this new kind of immunotherapy can prove to be a ray of hope for ailing cancer patients.

Similar kind of research is also being carried out in the field of skin cancer. Pembrolizumab- the new drug was tested on 411 patients and the approximately 70 percent of them survived after the complete treatment.

According to leading scientists and researchers, boosting our immune system against cancer cells is a proficient field of further research and can produce effective and life saving results if carried out in a well structured manner. The lack of funding may prove to be a major hurdle in the path of immunotherapy, but the exciting results produced by the above experiments are a motivation to further proceed in this direction. An integrated attempt to bring together government, charities and non profit organisations in this regard and convince them to contribute hand in hand towards the greatest medicinal developments of the era may work in this regard.

Such evolving therapies can prove to be a paradigm shift in the arena of cancer studies.

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