Immunotherapy also referred to as biological therapy helps in boosting the body’s natural defenses to fight the abnormal growth in the body called cancer. It primarily strives to improve the immune system by using substances made in the laboratory or in the patient’s body itself. Immunotherapy thus functions in disrupting the growth of the malignant cells and is required for preventing its spread in the body thereby making the immune system strong enough to fight the cancerous cells.
The different types of immunotherapy comprise of the following:
- Monoclonal antibodies – These are specially designed in the laboratories and find its usage in a number of ways. It is generally used as a targeted therapy to restrict the abnormal development in a cancerous cell.
- Non-specific immunotherapies – This type of immunotherapy like the previous one also initiates the immune system to destroy the malignant cells. This is often given along with other types of therapies like the chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The two most common type of immunotherapies are interferons and interleukins, which are given according to the patient’s need.
- Oncolytic Virus therapy – Genetically induced viruses are used in this approach to destroy the cancer cells. A virus is injected into the tumor which multiplies itself and in the process release antigens. This helps the body to fight the cancer cells.
- T-Cell therapy – T cells are mainly immune cells that are charged in the laboratories and thus infused with proteins called receptors. These receptors help in destroying the cancerous cells.
- Cancer vaccines – Vaccines are antigens that facilitate the immune system to recognize and kill the necessary malignant cells.
Immunotherapy can be performed via different ways:
- Intravenous method where immunotherapy is directly injected into the vein.
- In the oral method, it is taken in with the help of capsules and pills.
- In case of skin cancer, immunotherapy can be available in the form of creams which can be rubbed onto the skin.
- If the intravesical method is used, then the immunotherapy goes directly into the bladder.
Immunotherapy can be injected into the immune system to help it attack the abnormal growth of cells. The immune system keeps a record of all the natural substances found in the body and generally attacks any new substance when it is found in the body. This facilitates the destroying of the cancer cells as and when required. This along with therapies like radiation therapy and chemotherapy makes the entire treatment really beneficial.
Patients undergoing immunotherapy should be certain side effects also. On need they should immediately refer to the doctor and be under constant supervision. Some points should be kept in mind:
- Immunotherapy can cause fatigue, nausea and diarrhea
- It certain patients it can also give rise to mouth sores and high blood pressure.
- Pain management, nutritional therapy and naturopathic treatment are often rendered during immunotherapy.
- Severe allergic reactions might also surface.
Immunotherapy is really an effective means of treatment which has brought relief in the advanced stages of cancer. Depending on the spread and the type of cancer, it becomes easier to understand the role played by the immunotherapy. Generally it brings relief from the associated pain in cancer and follow up visits are recommended by the oncologist. Immunotherapy happens to be a latest development in the field of cancer care and the drug costs around $5000 on a monthly basis for a cancer patient. The cost in India in comparison with other developed countries in pretty much lower and thus can be afforded by patients from all economic backgrounds. At government hospitals the cost becomes more budget friendly but treatment can get delayed.
With an affordable treatment package and advanced instruments, the hospitals have made it possible for patients to defeat cancer. With the help of expert oncologists, these hospitals serve the patients according to their specific needs and try their level best to ensure a successful treatment. Some of the major hospitals in India treating cancer patients are:
- Medanta- The Medicity, Gurgaon
- Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi
- Apollo Health City, Hyderabad
- Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai
- Nanavati Hospital, Mumabai
- BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi
- Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Delhi
- Columbia Asia Hospital, Bangalore
India has experienced oncologists who render effective treatment to cancer patients helping them to get back to their normal lives. Their cooperation and their dedication have created a remarkable record in the field of oncology and simultaneously have won the trust of patients from abroad also. Some of the oncologists offering immunotherapy are:
- Suresh Advani (Jaslok Hospital)
- Ashok Vaid ( Medanta-The Medicity)
- Vinod Raina( Fortis Memorial Research Institute)
- P P Bapsy (Apollo Hospitals, Banerghatta Road)
- B V Lawrence ( Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai)
- D C Doval ( Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital)
- Jyoti Wadhwa ( Medanta- The Medicity)
- Sandeep Goyle ( Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital)
- K M Parthasarathy (Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital)
- Suresh Advani ( Jaslok Hospital)
- A patient from UK narrates about her treatment experience in India:
“I was detected with Stage II breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. After the surgery I took 6 chemotherapies also and did quite well than before. But slowly complications grew, and on another ultrasound the doctors found that the cancer had spread to my ovaries also. I was utterly scared and felt helpless. A considerable amount was already spent and I decided to get my further treatment done at a lower cost. I contacted a friend of mine who had got his prostate cancer surgery done in India successfully. My friend advised me to get in touch with MedTour2India. The team at once responded to my queries and helped me with the proceedings. They advised me not only about the hospital but took care of my accommodation, travel and medicines also. As per their recommendations, I went to see the oncologist who conducted a few tests and decided to put me under immunotherapy. My body responded in a positive way and further tests revealed improvement. Slowly, the cancer cells were destroyed and I recovered. The incurred cost for my treatment was also reasonable. I am grateful to my oncologist whose dedication helped me to heal and also to MedTour2India without whose constant support my treatment wouldn’t have been hassle free.”
- A patient from Yemen shares his story :
“My 16 year old son was suffering from colon cancer and since the treatment here in my country was not very advanced I decided to get his treatment done from India. My son’s treatment was made easier and faster with the assistance of MedTour2India. Starting from our bookings at the hotel, appointments with the doctors, the team took care of our major needs. My son was scrutinized by an oncologist at Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital who prescribed chemotherapy for him. After the course got over, he was given immunotherapy also. Though he had joint pains and loss of appetite, gradually he recovered. The doctor was very cooperative and so was the medical staff at the hospital. My child’s health was taken proper care of during the treatment process. They performed detailed scanning from time to time to see his progress. Throughout the span of his stay at the hospital, MedTour2India kept in touch with us, helping us in need with the conveyance and medications. I am grateful to both the organization and the hospital along with the oncologist whose dedication helped my son to lead a normal and better life free of cancer. I would surely recommend any cancer patient to get in touch with MedTour2India who would definitely find one the right hospital according to the patient’s needs.”