USING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO TREAT CANCER
“All cancer is the result of an immune system that didn’t destroy the mutant cells”.
This popular saying holds true and forms the basis of tumor immunology. Immuno Cell therapy is a promising new addition to the family of cancer treatments that includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy and cancer vaccines. This mode of treatment uses the body's immune system either directly or indirectly to fight cancer by enhancing the immune mechanisms of the body. As this therapy uses only the patient’s own cells for treatment, it is very safe and doesn't result in any allergy or any side effects and combining this with the conventional therapies (ies) appropriately as per the patient’s condition, type of cancer and regimen of chemo/radio therapies, improves the outcome. As the immune cells of the patient upon transfusion don’t affect the normal functioning cells of the body, it is furthermore safe.
For most of the 20th century there was no concrete evidence that human cancer antigens existed or that there were any measurable immune responses against growing cancers in patients. A major development in this field was the identification of the antitumor properties of interleukin-2 (IL-2), a secreted cytokine produced by helper T lymphocytes that is a major regulator of immune reactions. The interaction of antigens with T lymphocytes activates lymphoid cells to express receptors for IL-2, and the simultaneous stimulation of IL-2 secretion leads to the expansion of immune cells and effective immunity. Animal studies done by Dudley and colleagues from National Institute of Health USA, demonstrated that antitumor impact of IL-2 administration is a result of stimulating immune reactions in vivo.