Cancer was initially categorized as an incurable disease, later it was categorized as a disease where success rate post-treatment was minimal, but now the treatment options have increased, expenses incurred have decreased and success ratio is higher. While radiation, chemotherapy and surgery were the only treatment options available until a few years ago, certain drugs that target cancer cells and cure the disease are also taken to be standard treatments for many cancers nowadays. The latest development in cancer cure are immunotherapy approaches to treat cancer. Treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy change the overall body functionality of the patient and require a healthy diet plan to enable speedy recovery. Please visit the website www.firsteatright.com to get in touch with dietitians/nutritionists who can help you plan a healthy diet chart.
The fast-emerging immunotherapy approach is the adoptive cell transfer (ACT) which uses the patient’s own immune cells to treat his/her cancer. CAR-T cell therapy (most famous ACT treatment) has been predominantly used only in patients with advanced blood cancers and further research is needed to incorporate it for other cancer types such as breast and colorectal cancer.
CAR T Cells: A Living Drug
As the name implies, CAR T cells depend on T cells, which are known as the workhorses of the immune system as they help in orchestrating the immune response and kill cells infected by pathogens. In this therapy, blood is drawn from the patient and the T cells are separated henceforth. Then, the T cells are genetically engineered to produce receptors on their surface known as chimeric antigen receptors or CARs. These receptors help the T cells attach to the specific tumor cells. Once the T cells are engineered to produce CAR, they are expanded in the lab into hundreds of millions of cells. After all this, the CAR T cells are infused into the patient. Once inside the body, these cells multiply, recognize and kill cancer cells that harbor the antigen on their surface.
CAR T cells therapy was approved recently for the treatment of ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) in kids. This treatment is used mainly to heal patients (where other treatment options are almost nil) whose cancers return after chemotherapy or stem cell transplant.
Ill Effects of CAR T Cells Therapy
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.