Author: Cheryl Heaton
Intratumoral immunotherapy is a revolutionary cancer treatment that makes use of sophisticated antibodies, which are directly injected into the cancer tumors, instead of intravenously.
This new cancer treatment immunotherapy can dramatically improve a cancer patient’s response rate, along with many other advantages.
Tumor against itself
The word itself, intratumoral, means within a tumor. Experts think that the best way to cure cancer is to use what’s already in the patient’s body, which means using cancer against itself.
A cancer patient’s immune system may target cancer cells and kill them before they overrun the body. However, the immune system sometimes needs a little nudge and this is where intratumoral immunotherapy could help.
According to experts, intratumoral immunotherapy optimizes cancer cells to work like a vaccine. It also inhibits the growth of the tumor as the tumor cells are injected with antibodies.
This process allows the patient to have cancer treatments with few side effects, unlike other methods. This also cuts the cost of expensive cancer treatments, while giving patients higher chances of survival and longer life.
How Does Intratumoral Immunotherapy Work?
After the ablation of the tumor deposits either by heating or freezing, any non-viable cells that remain in the patient’s body may be used to stimulate the immune system with intratumoral immunotherapy. Doctors will use an -OX40 agonist combined with other types of cancer medication or vaccine — such as CpG, ipilimumab, and ketorolac — for the therapy, as in the case of stage 4 breast cancer patient with two liver metastases.
In this case, following the therapy, a CT scan was performed on the patient six weeks after the procedure, and a positron emission tomography (PET) scan with a CT scan was also done 12 weeks after the therapy. The results showed that the cancer tumors were no longer found in the body, and the liver metastases had rescinded.
Can Intratumoral Immunotherapy Work With Other Therapies?
Patients who are undergoing intravenous immunotherapy may consider intratumoral immunotherapy to enhance their treatments or add this to their radiation treatments or chemotherapy. According to experts, combination treatments are actually helpful, cost-effective, and safer for cancer patients since the therapy is more targeted. Furthermore, the effects of immunotherapy and ablation, when combined, are synergistic.
Cancer treatments, in general, open different challenges both in the clinical and economic sense. Some patients also respond better to specific therapies than other patients. We strongly encourage patients to discuss their options thoroughly with our doctors at Williams Cancer Institute before proceeding with the treatments.
Learn more about intratumoral immunotherapy at Williams Cancer Institute
Dr. Jason Williams’ approach combines interventional radiology expertise with a high level of knowledge about the science of immunology, cancer, and cancer immunotherapy.
If you or a loved one have any more questions or need information about this new cancer treatment, immunotherapy for cancer, OX40 cancer immunotherapy, or cd40 cancer immunotherapy, give us a call at Williams Cancer Institute.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.