Many may be wondering how exactly the immune system and cancer are interrelated. It’s quite complex given that it has taken decades of countless scientific research in search of the cure. The goal is to break this cancer into its basic mechanisms to fully understand its totality and appreciate its processes. In general, the immune system works by fighting against any harmful substances such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and cancer cells. Something important to note is that your own cells and immune system can and will betray you.
Pentoxifylline, sold under the brand name Trental is typically used for vascular disease to increase blood flow due to its effect in reducing blood viscosity. However, there is a gene called c-Rel that is important to maintain the function of regulatory cells such as Tregs and MDSC. As I have discussed, the immune system has two sides, one that is regulatory, which has been tricked by cancer to protect it. There is the other side that can attack cancer.
Our goal is to tip the balance in favor of attacking cancer. In a study published by Grinberg-Bleyer, et al in Cell, Sept 7, 2017, titled “NF-kB c-Rel Is Crucial for the Regulatory T Cell Immune Checkpoint in Cancer” they describe how blocking c-Rel can reduce the regulatory function of Tregs. In addition, Li, et al published in Nature Cancer, May 18, 2020, an article titled “c-Rel is a Myeloid Checkpoint for Cancer Immunotherapy” which discusses MDSC.
Immune response in cancer treatments has been studied for over decades and to this day continues to be closely researched in an attempt to provide a less invasive treatment for patients. Thanks to medical research, patients and physicians have access to seventeen immunotherapy FDA approved treatments. This ongoing mission is one of great value and in today’s blog we will be exploring more interesting details about the immune system and cancer.
Dr. Jason R. Williams of The Williams Cancer Institute was recently featured on the podcast “Targeted Talks”, along with medical oncologist Dr. George R. Simon, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The two discussed the importance community oncologists have on the future of treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
According to Dr. Williams, “every treatment option for non-small cell lung cancer now involves individualized immunotherapy.” Though oncologists had been resistant to including it in the plan of care for their patients, most have adapted as studies have revealed success, and more drugs are FDA approved.
Patients are asked as soon as they receive pathology reports whether they would like to start immunotherapy. There are limitations to success, as more data continues to be gathered on the subject. One promising option is the addition of cryoablation immunotherapy.
Intratumoral immunotherapy is one of the most recent scientific advances for cancer treatments. This discovery has had some amazing results, including eliminating traces of cancer cells within the patient’s body.
This treatment is centered around the idea of using the tumor as the vaccine to fight against cancer. It entails directly injecting high concentrations of immunostimulatory products, coupled with a small amount of medication, into the tumor.
One study published in the journal The Oncologist has shown that the overall response rate of this treatment was 55 percent, in a treatment course done over 12 weeks. Those who underwent a second course had a 26% to 51% success rate.
Here are five benefits to intratumoral immunotherapy:
Your immune system does more than simply fight colds and flu. Throughout your life, your natural defenses seek out and destroy anything that is not recognized as part of the self including all kinds of germs and cancer cells before they have a chance to cause disease. Your immune system manages to destroy most rogue cells before they form a full-fledged tumor, but some of them get by your defenses. If you already have cancer, your immune system will still be working hard to keep your disease in check, but it probably can’t do the job on its own.
Feeling confused and uninformed about cancer treatment is understandable. It’s our desire to help eliminate the confusion and inform you about effective treatment solutions, including cancer ablation.
On that subject, you might have heard about ablation therapy. If you have, you’re at an advantage.
Ablation therapy 101
Basically, cancer ablation uses heat or cold to eliminate (ablate) cancer tumors. The upside is that the procedure works without more invasive surgery.
Ablation therapy targets your tumor directly. Special probes guide the treatment with precision to your tumor with the assistance of imaging technology.
You will experience minimal pain and discomfort throughout your treatment. And your recovery time will be be much less than that following surgery or radiation treatment.
You will probably be able to have your treatment without hospitalization. Ablation therapy can also be used along with other chosen cancer treatments.