There are people out there who may doubt the usefulness of donating to medical research. They see immense sums of money being spent on issues like cancer and limited immediate results. It’s a very short sighted thought approach. There have been vast improvements in the known treatments for diseases, as well as many new treatments developed over the years. While a cure for cancer doesn’t exist yet, without funding, there’s no hope for one.
One of the best treatments developed for Cancer is Immunotherapy. It’s a very interesting treatment technique where rather than attempting to treat the cancer directly, it’s an effort to familiarize and prepare the immune system to fight the cancer. This method is certainly different from essentially all treatment options available. Current cancer treatments are often invasive or drastically change the way a body operates with severe side effects. As cancer immunotherapy research continues, there will be great changes in the way cancer is treated and handled.
What is Cancer Immunotherapy Research?
Immunotherapy is a type of therapy in which the body’s immune system is trained to recognize and diagnose certain things as dangerous and then break them down. When it comes to cancer, it will diagnose a cancerous cell and the immune system will fight it.
Current treatments are very different. They involved surgery, hormone bombardment, chemotherapy or radiation treatments. While these have shown some effectiveness, it’s limited. The cancer’s often return. Having to battle through cancer once is difficult enough. Having to do it multiple times is asking too much of a person. Cancer immunotherapy research continues to develop a way that once a cancer is treated, it will continue to be treated. This lack of returning or spreading cancer would show some real ground in preventing cancers in the first place.
What is the Benefit of Cancer Immunotherapy Research?
There are some clear benefits that many people may see when it comes to cancer treatments through using immunotherapy. One way to look at it is that it has benefits that are nearly global. It’s a type of therapy that can be beneficial across the broad strata of cancers instead of just to a single type. Here are the benefits to the various cancers people may expect to come across:
- Bladder Cancer - There are immunotherapy trials already being done on bladder cancer. The trials have been running since 1990 and have shown excellent results. Like many cancers, bladder cancer has a strong chance of recurrence. Immunotherapy would be a huge step toward keeping that from happening.
- Breast Cancer - The numbers on breast cancer are scary. Approximately 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer during their lifetime. Previously it was thought immunotherapy would not be particularly useful against this form of cancer. Recent research however has been promising and that immunotherapy can be a valid weapon against breast cancer. There are multiple immunotherapy techniques, with the most important one working to elicit an immune response against the cancer cells immediately, thus avoiding dangerous surgeries and radiation treatments.
- Ovarian Cancer - Ovarian cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers in terms of it returning. Over 80% of Ovarian cancer survivors find the cancer return in some form. The main benefit of immunotherapy is keeping this from occurring. Ovarian cancer may benefit the most of all types of cancers from immunotherapy.
- Cervical Cancer - Considering how many people come into contact with HPV, it’s not surprising that cervical cancer is a serious problem in women. Immunotherapy research has shown excellent results in the early trials for treating cervical cancer and could help make HPV a far less dangerous virus. Cervical cancer is another of the main targets for immunotherapy treatments.
The potential benefits of immunotherapy research extends to many other cancers as well. Kidney cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer and lung cancer all have the potential to greatly benefit from immunotherapy treatments. The research continues and it’s promising!