What does the immune system do?
The immune system helps in protecting the body from all types of illnesses like bacteria, fungi, viruses or any other serious illness. The collection of reactions and responses help the body in eradicating the infections by making blood cells which is also known as the immune response.
Importance of immune system to cancer patients:
The immune system is important to a healthy person and also to a cancer patient in many ways to eradicate any disease quickly and easily. But it is of utmost importance to a cancer patient because:
- Cancer can weaken the immune system
- It can also weaken the body after cancer treatments
- It can also fight against cancer to give a healthy body all over again
Immunity and cancer go hand in hand:
The cancers of the immune system include leukaemia and lymphomas which are also a type of blood cancer but it is common for all cancers to affect the immune system in some or the other way.
Cancer cells develop from our own cells, so our immune system does not have that knowledge of attacking it every time. It happens sometimes that the immune system of the human body fails to recognize and protect the cancer cells. Hence, the body cannot produce much blood cell in the bone marrow to fight off infections.
What is a checkpoint therapy in the treatment of cancer?
It is the name given to the class of cancers that attacks tumors without harming the immune system.
In this case, they are antibodies which can be manufactured to block the function of CTLA-4 and PD-1. Hence, these are checkpoint therapies which can control the immune response by putting it in on or off mode.
Effect of check inhibitors on cancers:
The binding of the antibodies to the respective T cell brake is equivalent to the releasing pressure on T cells so that they can target tumor cells. This process of target is highly efficient but particularly for PD-1 targets which led to long term remission of metastatic cancer.
Has any checkpoint inhibitor drugs already approved?
There is few other checkpoint inhibitor drugs has been approved already. They are:
- CTLA-4 and PD-1 for treating melanoma
- Three other antibodies are being developed to target the third protein of PD-1 for other types of cancer including lung and prostate are yet to come.
A step towards eradicating all types of cancer
Immune system must function properly before and after the treatment of cancer. It is an important aspect which includes the health of a person with cancer. So, if you are healthy enough then you can surely eradicate cancer to live a healthy life.