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Cancer Imunotherapy

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For many years the standard methods used for cancer treatment are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. These treatments use drugs that are designed to kill the rapidly dividing cancerous cells aggressively and are effective, but they do however, kill many healthy cells of an individual and result in severe side affects. It wasn't until the past few decades that the emergence of a new approach to cancer therapy has gained attention. Researchers have been focusing on the idea of cancer immunotherapy. The first immunotherapy maneuver was done back in 1860. A man by the name of William Cooley decided to inject bacteria into tumors. He noticed that the bacteria were provoking an immune response in patients and it had caused tumor regression. This was the first example that showed we could use the patients immune response to fight a tumor. Scientists have been struggling and attempting to create effective cancer treatments based on Cooley's observations. To understand how immunotherapy works it helps to know how your immune system works to fight against cancer. Cancer cells have substances on their surfaces called tumor antigens that raise an alarm in the immune system that says cancer is present. Antigen presenting cells ( APCs) roam the body seeking out and ingesting tumor antigens. The APCs then activate B cells and T cells. The B cells differentiate into plasma cells and secrete antibodies that bind to the tumor cell and mark them for elimination ( a humoral immune response). When T cells are activated they proliferate and undergo expansion, seek out, and destroy cells bearing the specific tumor antigens ( a cellular immune response). Sometimes your immune response does not destroy all of the cancer cells and this r... ... middle of paper ... ...y may be another area of research that may enhance anti-tumor activity. Creating better antibodies, like rituximab and others we are able to better target the tumor cell. There are many targets on our bodies immune cells and by being able to locate them specifically and boost the immune system in order for it to work better than it already can proves to be beneficial and harnessing this power can lead to a dramatic impact on the way we treat cancer. Maintaining and preserving patients quality of life and looking for lifelong cure is what scientists are looking for. Improving the efficacy of these immunotherapy treatments can lead to significant breakthroughs including longterm remission and being able to treat patients with cancer that is hard to treat. I look forward and can't wait to see the advances that will be made in this field or research in the near future.
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