The immune system produces proteins, known as chemokines, which are signals that can affect immune function. There is a chemokine named C-C motif ligand 20, also known as CCL20. It is known as an inflammatory protein, often associated with rheumatoid arthritis. However, new evidence links this cytokine with numerous cancers. It seems that CCL20 promotes cancer metastasis. In addition, it increases cancer stem cells and causes T cell exhaustion. These actions will suppress an immune response. There are studies in many cancer types indicating that blocking CCL20 is anti-cancer and may enhance the success of immunotherapy. Surprisingly enough, drugs that can block CCL20 may also reduce autoimmune side-effects from standard PD-1 immunotherapy, such as Opdivo and Keytruda.
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.
It may be surprising how many people disregard the gut, especially when it comes to understanding how the immune system functions. But in today’s blog, you will have a better insight on why it’s important to take care of the gut flora and which bacteria specifically are essential components for the function of immunotherapy.
The gut plays a major role in the immune system, and here’s why.
To appreciate the role of the intestinal flora, it’s crucial to take in the complexity of how the digestive system functions and the benefits of certain bacteria and yeasts that aid in the digestive process. Having the appropriate bacteria and amount in the intestines is critical for the function of today’s current immune checkpoint inhibitors. This means that utilizing the powerful immunotherapy drugs while having a well-balanced and healthy digestive system will be immensely beneficial for the overall cancer treatment.
Our bodies have their innate ability to heal on their own, given the right environment, and removing the body from harmful substances. The immune system has its regulatory cells, which help with overall body regulation and protecting the body’s immune system to attack itself. The immune system is a powerful way to combat many diseases and illnesses, however, cancer can be more intelligent in overtaking the body. If the immune system were to attack the body then it would cause autoimmune disease. You may be wondering how this relates to cancer?
Well, the situation gets complicated when the immune system gets tricked by cancer. Because cancer can grow out of healthy cells, the immune system fails in recognizing that it’s actually a cancerous cell rather than a true healthy cell. When this occurs, the body will enter into a state of unbalance.
We know the immune system plays a key role in fighting off pathogens from entering the body. But it also fights the battles occurring within. It’s perhaps your biggest ally in helping your body fight disease. And understanding how your immune system joins forces with cancer treatment can give you a positive advantage.
Understanding the Role of Cancer Immunotherapy in Mexico
Your immune system targets disease and infection. It detects and destroys anything it sees as a threat. Some of these pathogens may include:
Unhealthy cells, including cancer cells!
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.
No doubt, cancer feels like an insurmountable obstacle. But it can be overcome and perhaps you’re one who is or has done so.
More than 15.5 million Americans with cancer in their history are alive today, according to 2016 data. And that number is projected to surpass 20 million by 2026. 1
As a cancer survivor, you face the opportunity to improve and sustain your health post treatment. Though you’re well some side-effects could remain.
But you can take a proactive approach.
A strong immune system could be your first line of defense. In fact, good immune health helps you combat bacteria, viruses and cancer!
You have the daily support of billions of immune cells. But it’s vital that you keep your body (and your immune system) properly fueled.
A cancer diagnosis and related treatment can weaken your immune system. The loss of white blood cells is another factor that can increase your vulnerability for infection.