Going through cancer treatment and surviving cancer is an arduous journey.
With the evolution of medicine, researchers and scientists have been able to find several ways to deter cancer cells from spreading. But, across the world scientists are still struggling to find foolproof ways of prevention and medication that can cure the fatal disease.
While the disease in itself is fatal, treatment for cancer is painful as well. Harsh drugs, radiation and chemotherapy often leave patients' health in a fragile state. And as newer ways of battling cancer are being introduced, on World Cancer Day, we look at what researchers suggest are promising treaments for the disease:
Adoptive T-cell Therapy: Thymocyte cells or T-lymphocytes are a type of lymphocyte play a key role in immunity. And researchers at the UW School of Medicine say that, "Adoptive T-cell therapy (helps) achieve greater number of T cells than what could be obtained by vaccination alone. The tumor specific T cells are then infused into patients with cancer in an attempt to give their immune system the ability to overwhelm remaining tumor."
According to the researchers, there are several types of T-cell therapy that are being developed that include engineering cells that identify and attack tumours.
Nature says that while T-cell engineering is a cause for optimism, development of more potent T-cells have been stopped by safety concerns.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors: It is when our immune system cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells is when cancer cells grow. And one way to stop the growth of cancer cells is to use drugs that hide from the "checkpoints" the immune system uses to separate normal cells from foreign cells.
According to cancer.org, antibodies like Pembrolizumab, Nivolumab and Ipilimumab help treat certain types of cancers. The research states that such therapy has shown to have helped cancers like melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer.
Targeted therapy: It targets the changes in cancer cells, the way the divide and spread. According to cancer.gov there are two types of targeted therapy that are done with the use of small-molecule drugs and monoclonal antibodies. The first one is used for targets that are inside cells while the second one attaches itself on the outside of the target.
According to research, this treatment helps destroy cancer cells, stop them from growing, kills them and starve them of hormones that they need to grow.
Hormone therapy with Goserlin: breastcancercare.org states that this drug can be used to treat "women whose breast cancer is sensitive to the female hormone oestrogen – known as oestrogen receptor positive or ER+ breast cancer." It is administered through subcutaneous injections and the frequency depends on the severity of the cancer.
Goserlin uses ovarian suppression or the switching off of production of Oestrogen, since some cancer cells use Oestrogen to grow.