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Immunotherapy will increase cancer survival, say doctors

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Dr Ajit Saxena, Senior Consultant-Urology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals

NEW DELHI : An immunotherapy drug has been hailed as the next revolution after doctors found that that it can greatly improve survival of patients with relapsed head and neck cancer, which are difficult to treat.

Dr Ajit Saxena, senior consultant-Urology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, has elaborated on the benefits associated with immunotherapy for cancer treatment at a press briefing on January 11, 2019.

Dr Saxena said patients taking chemotherapy reported feeling physically, socially and emotionally worse off, whereas those who were given immunotherapy drug remained stable during the course of treatment.

Dr Saxena explained, “Traditionally, chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, especially at an advanced stage. However, the major disadvantage of this treatment method is its inability to discriminate between healthy and cancerous cells, due to which many healthy cells of the body are also lost.”

“The immune system of the body, which is already weakened due to cancer becomes even weaker,” he added.

Immunology, especially immune-oncology is being hailed as the next revolution in the field of cancer treatment. The patient’s immune cells help the body fight off the malignant cancer cells. So, if his immunity is boosted enough, it becomes easier for the body to fight off the disease.

Dr. Manish Singhal, Senior Consultant-Oncologist at Apollo-Noida, told DTMT, “Credited with various successes, immune booster therapy is tailor-made for each individual. Not only does it reduce the chances of remission, but it also removes the debilitating side-effects which are generally associated with traditional cancer treatments.”


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