What is Lung cancer?
Lung cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that starts growing in the lungs. Lungs cancer is very common in people who smoke a lot, but it can be developed in non-smokers as well.
Some common signs that can indicate the presence of lung cancer include shortness of breath, pain in the lungs, chest pain, hoarseness in the voice, sudden loss in weight, blood in coughing, and so on. The treatment for lung cancer depends on a variety of factors, including the type and stage of cancer. Immunotherapy is also a common treatment among them. Other treatment procedures are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, palliative therapy, targeted therapy, and radiofrequency ablation.
What are the types of immunotherapy for lung cancer?
Immunotherapy involves the use of medicines to boost the immune system of the patient to treat cancer. Some types of methods used for immunotherapy by doctors to help the immune system in treating cancer are as follows.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
The immune system has a natural ability that prevents it from attacking and damaging the normal cells of the body. This is possible through ‘checkpoints’ which are proteins on immune cells that can control the working of the immune system and act like a switch for it. Cancer cells can pretend and trick the immune system to keep them away from getting destroyed by the immune system.
Medications that can target these checkpoints and prevent the immune system from getting tricked are given to the patient to boost treatment. This type of immunotherapy is commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer.
Some common drugs used as immune checkpoint inhibitors approved by FDA include Atezolizumab, Cemiplimab, Duryalumab, Ipilimumab, Nivolumab, and Pembrolizumab.
Therapeutic vaccines can help the immune system to kill cancer cells and cure cancer. Though no vaccine has been officially approved by FDA till now, research is being done.
These monoclonal antibodies are synthetic antibodies that are created to specifically target cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies that are officially approved by FDA include bevacizumab and ramucirumab.
Adoptive T-cell therapy
T cells are those type of white blood cell which are present in the body that focuses mainly on foreign substances that enter the body. For adoptive T-cell therapy, these T- cells are removed from the body and then enhanced and adapted to specifically fight cancer cells more efficiently. The T-cells can be removed from the body through procedures like plasmapheresis or by removing some part of the tumor and separating T-cells from it. This treatment is still under analysis and not yet officially approved by FDA.
How are the drugs of immunotherapy given?
These drugs are infused into the veins of the patient to improve the performance of the immune system during the treatment of cancer. These infusions are usually given every few weeks during the treatment of lung cancer.
general side effect of immunotherapy in lung cancer
Following the statements of Dr. Vikas, the best oncologist in Noida at Zeeva cancer hospital in Noida, it is seen that while going under immunotherapy, some possible side effects may arise as the immune system becomes hyperactive. These side effects, if they get severe, need the examination of a professional doctor like Dr. Vikas, the best oncologist in Noida at Zeeva cancer hospital in Noida. Some of the side effects that the patient may face are as follows.
- Shortness of breath
- Rashes on the body
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in bones or muscles
- Inflammation in different organs of the body
- May lead to autoimmune disorders that can cause organ damage.
Immunotherapy is often combined with chemotherapy for the treatment. Immunotherapy commonly opts for patients who have stage 3 or stage 4 lung cancer. To find out whether immunotherapy is suitable for a patient or not advanced genomic testing and PD-L1 testing are done.
Immunotherapy is not considered safe for people with chronic infections or autoimmune disorders such as lupus, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is recommended to consult a good doctor, like Dr. Vikas Goswami who is the best oncologist in Noida at Zeeva cancer hospital in Noida, to know if immunotherapy will be suitable for you or not. Immunotherapy has given amazing outcomes for the patients that it has been used on so far.
However, research is still ongoing on these procedures to make them more effective and one of the best treatments for treating lung cancer. It is suggested to get it done by a professional skilled doctor, like Dr. Vikas who is the best oncologist in Noida, and a well-facilitated hospital like Zeeva clinic which is among the best cancer hospital in Noida.