Immunotherapy is useful for treating prostate cancer

Immunotherapy for cancer

Cancer immunotherapies make use of this body's immune systemto fight the tumor. In the best case scenario, immunotherapy drugs cause immune cells in the body to recognize cancer cells and destroy them. When it comes to the method, experts speak of immuno-oncology. In addition to operations, radiation, chemotherapy and medication, it forms the fifth pillar in the fight against cancer.

Immunotherapies for cancer are however not a miracle cure. Because: Our immune cells do not directly recognize cancer cells as an enemy. On the one hand, cancer cells are the body's own cells. On the other hand, many types of cancer have developed strategies to "hide" from immune cells. For example, when the cells do not show any antigens (surface proteins by which cells can recognize other cells) or by inhibiting the immune reaction.

Nevertheless, scientists are understanding the interaction between tumors and the immune system better and better and have been able to develop some approaches to fight cancer with immunotherapies. How long the therapy lasts and how it works depends on the person different methods from:

Immunotherapy: Monoclonal Antibodies

Antibodies are molecules that attach to antigens in cells and mark them as diseased or foreign cells. Immune cells can recognize the enemy cells and fight them. Immunotherapy with antibodies relies on pre-producing these molecules in the laboratory. Patients receive this artificial antibody as an infusion into the vein.

The method is supposed to Stop the metabolism and growth of the tumor. How often and for how long patients are given the infusions depends on the type of cancer. As a rule, those affected have to go to the hospital for a session every one to four weeks.

Doctors can use antibodies also for diagnosis by equipping the molecules with radioactive or fluorescent particles. When they dock on the antigens of the tumor cells, the tumor and metastases become visible with imaging techniques.