Posts for: March, 2016

             A new type of therapy called immunotherapy Is increasingly being used  to 

fight cancer.In essence,this therapy utilizes the body's own cancer-killing cells

as a defense mechanism against the cancer cells.To begin with, cancerous

tissue is biopsied and tested for genetic mutations. Then, medications called

monoclonal antibodies which are specific for each of these genetic mutations

in a given cancer are then used to enlist the body's own cancer-fighting cells

to destroy the cancer.

              Recently,a former president who suffered from malignant melanoma

which had already spread to his liver and brain was given the drug pembrolizumab.

This medication is one of a new class of drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors.

These drugs target certain proteins in the immune system known as checkpoint 

proteins which prevent cancer cells from being attacked by the  immune system.

Therefore,they allow the body's own immune system to attack and kill the cancer.

             In a recent study of 67 patients utilizing this therapy,about 17 (ie,25 %)

developed a skin condition  on certain body areas known as vitiligo which is

the absence of pigment. 

             However,not only is this, in my opinion,a very small price to pay for

curing melanoma cancer which has already spread throughout the body,

but this potential side effect and others can be managed by the use of

steroids and aspirin type drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

               

 

 

 

 

Coming soon.




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