Immunotherapy in Lung cancer

What is Lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that starts growing in the lungs. It is widely expected in people who smoke a lot, but it can also be developed in non-smokers.

Some common signs that can indicate the presence of lung cancer include shortness of breath, pain in the lungs, chest pain, hoarseness in the voice, sudden loss in weight, blood in coughing, and so on. The treatment for lung cancer depends on various factors, including the type and stage of cancer. Immunotherapy is also a common treatment among them. Other treatment procedures are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, palliative therapy, targeted therapy, and radiofrequency ablation.

What are the types of immunotherapy for lung cancer?

Immunotherapy involves using medicines to boost the patient’s immune system to treat cancer. Some types of methods used for immunotherapy by doctors to help the immune system treat cancer are as follows.

  1. Immune checkpoint inhibitors

The immune system has a natural ability that prevents it from attacking and damaging the body’s normal cells. This is possible through ‘checkpoints’ which are proteins on immune cells that can control the working of the immune system and act like a switch for it. Cancer cells can pretend and trick the immune system to keep them away from getting destroyed by the immune system. 

Medications that can target these checkpoints and prevent the immune system from getting tricked are given to the patient to boost treatment. This type of immunotherapy is commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

Some common drugs used as immune checkpoint inhibitors approved by FDA include Atezolizumab, Cemiplimab, Duryalumab, Ipilimumab, Nivolumab, and Pembrolizumab.

2. Cancer vaccines

Therapeutic vaccines can help the immune system to kill cancer cells and cure cancer. Though the FDA has officially approved no vaccine, research is being done.

3. Monoclonal antibodies

These monoclonal antibodies are synthetic antibodies created to target cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies that FDA officially approves include bevacizumab and ramucirumab.

4. Adoptive T-cell therapy

T-cells are types of white blood cell present in the body that focuses mainly on foreign substances that enter the body. For adoptive T-cell therapy, these T-cell cells are removed from the body and then enhanced and adapted to fight cancer cells more efficiently. The T-cells can be removed from the body through procedures like plasmapheresis or by removing some part of the tumor and separating T-cells from it. This treatment is still under analysis and not yet officially approved by FDA.

How are the drugs of immunotherapy given?

These drugs are infused into the patient’s veins to improve the performance of the immune system during cancer treatment. These infusions are usually given every few weeks during lung cancer treatment. 

side effects, immunotherapy in lung cancer

Following the statements of Dr. Vikas, the best oncologist in Noida at Zeeva cancer hospital in Noida, it is seen that while going under immunotherapy, some possible side effects may arise as the immune system becomes hyperactive. These side effects, if get severe, need the examination of a professional doctor like Dr. Vikas, the best oncologist in Noida at Zeeva cancer hospital in Noida. Some of the side effects that the patient may face are as follows. 

  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rashes on the body
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Pain in bones or muscles
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammation in different organs of the body
  • This may lead to autoimmune disorders that can cause organ damage.

Conclusion

Immunotherapy is often combined with chemotherapy for the treatment. Immunotherapy commonly opts for patients who have stage 3 or stage 4 lung cancer. To find out whether immunotherapy is suitable for a patient or not, advanced genomic testing and PD-L1 testing are done. 

Immunotherapy is not considered safe for people with chronic infections or autoimmune disorders such as lupus, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. 

It is recommended to consult a good doctor, like Dr. Vikas Goswami, who is the best oncologist in Noida at Zeeva cancer hospital in Noida, to know if immunotherapy will be suitable for you or not. Immunotherapy has given amazing outcomes for the patients it has been used on. 

However, research is still ongoing on these procedures to make them more effective and one of the best treatments for lung cancer. It is suggested to get it done by a skilled professional doctor, like Dr. Vikas, who is the best oncologist in Noida, and a well-facilitated hospital like Zeeva, which is the best cancer hospital in Noida.