Everything You Need to Know About Immunotherapy!


A doctor in New York named William Coley brought into the focus of science an astonishing fact that could heal cancer patients mysteriously. The medical practitioners from the late 1800s believed that the immune system in the patient’s body played a role big time to heal him/her from the deadly disease. He did specific experiments on the victims and found out that they were much more responsive if they were suffering from some infections post the surgery.

Coley’s theory was rejected at the onset, and he too, could not establish his fact because it was an era where medical science was not much developed. It took almost more than a century to understand that the doctor was not wrong! With further medical experiments and with ever-developing science, it has been proved that immunotherapy is another option for effective cancer treatment (especially lung cancer) who have otherwise been resistant to all other standard practices like chemotherapy and is non-responsive.

What is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a process in which the immune system of a cancer patient can be developed and used to resist the cancer cells growing in their body. It is often seen that with constant exposure to chemotherapy or radiation rays, the victim’s body becomes resistant and does not provide the typical response it should have been doing otherwise.

What is the drug?

After years of extensive hard work and thorough research, the scientists could come up with a drug that has got the approval of the FDA and thus can be used to treat patients with the disease named advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The drug is called Nivolumab (opdivo). The best cancer doctors in India are using this life-saving drug and getting magical results in the process of treating a lung cancer patient.

What are the Nivolumab works?

The main motive for which the drug is being injected into a cancer patient’s body is to bring back the immune system and the fragile balance it has. Nivolumab is disabling the PD1 protein that is present on the T cell so that the T cell can proceed in doing its work after the injection of protein. It is found that this drug has been seen working much better with cases of extreme damage to the DNA than partial or less damage to the same.

What is the doctor’s feedback about the drug?

In one of the anthologies of medicine titled Lancet Oncology, one of the pioneers, Dr. Rizvi, gave a green signal to treating lung cancer patients with Nivolumab. In one of his interviews, he confessed that he was astonished by the miraculous healing of the cancer patients. Also, there were no reports that the patients were getting the cancer cells back as they had been living a healthy life even after many years.

As stated earlier, further detailed experiments exposed that the PD1 inhibitors have been working more effectively on people whose DNA has been completely damaged and cancer has spread to the entire body. These cells generally get prone to any other practiced treatment procedures, therefore, putting the life of the patient at the question.

Dr. Rizvi accepted Coley’s research findings and stated the newfound treatment of lung cancer, and immunotherapy as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘groundbreaking’.

To conclude

As the saying says, nothing can ever be undone if you work hard for it. The drug, Nivolumab (opdivo) is a revolutionary finding in the area of cancer treatment. Since there were not many options other than certain medications, chemotherapy, and radiation rays to kill the cells, there were no guaranteed chances that the patient would survive the disease to live a happy and healthy life.

Years of real collaborating efforts from clinical researchers, geneticists, and immunologists have yielded fruits since a life-saving drug was invented. And since the damaged DNA can speak for the fact whether this drug will be working at all on the cancer victim or not, it will save a lot of time since the exact medicine can be prescribed to address the call of the next hour.

The best cancer doctors in India and the cancer patients can be a bit stress-free!

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