Immunotherapy is used to treat a variety of conditions and diseases. Immunotherapy allows to the body to use its natural immune responses, however enhanced, to fight against the toxins, tumors, or other detrimental organisms in the body.
There are several types of cancer that have been successfully treated with Immunotherapy. According to an article recently published in The Lancet Oncology, two researchers from the National Cancer Institute discussed several Immunotherapy techniques that have the potential of positive outcomes for the treatment of Mesothelioma.
One type of Immunotherapy extracts the dendritic cells from the body and stimulates them into a cytotoxic response that fights cancer cells. Once these cells have been harvested and stimulated, they are returned to the body, often times via an inactive virus. The newly stimulated dendritic cells then help the body to initiate an immune response to fight against the cancer cells and tumors that are producing a specific antigen. Currently, there is a cancer vaccine known as Provenge that has been developed using dendritic Immunotherapy.
Another type of Immunotherapy uses the live bacterium, Listeria. This process allows the bacterium to carry specific antigens into the tumor cells. Listeria produces specific chemicals that allow it to penetrate the body without being detected until it is in the cancer cells. This makes the Listeria vaccine a great method of delivering cancer fighting antigens into the damaged cells.
Allogenic vaccines are also being developed for Mesothelioma. These vaccines are developed by taking tumor cells from the body, treating them, and returning them to the body of the patient they were harvested from.
WT1 analogue peptide vaccinations are also being developed for the potential treatment of Mesothelioma. This vaccine is able to detect specific chemicals released from cancer cells and then induce specific immune responses from the bodies T-cells.
Physicians treating Mesothelioma need to carefully evaluate which stage the disease is in before attempting to use Immunotherapy The disease stage plays a huge role in the outcome of the Immunotherapy treatment. According to researchers, this is the complicated part of using Immunotherapy to treat Mesothelioma. If the body is not able to respond properly due to the stage of the disease, the outcome will not be favorable. Even with this major challenge, the potential of using Immunotherapy to successfully treat Mesothelioma is favorable. These techniques allow targeted treatment options that are much less toxic than other, more traditional, treatment options for Mesothelioma.