Immuno-Therapy for Cancer

Despite numerous advances in medicine, cancer remains a major health problem. It is the world’s second leading cause of death yet much is still unknown about the mechanisms of establishment and definitive modalities to a complete cure. Globally it is estimated that there are 7.6 million new cancer case each year with 52% occurring in developing countries. The magnitude of this worldwide especially in the Malaysian Sub-Continent in terms of sheer number is almost alarming. It is estimated that around 90,000 to100,000 people in Malaysia are living with cancer. The incidence of cancer in Malaysia is approximately 1 for every 4 persons of the population. Cancer in women in Malaysia constitutes more than 50% of the total cases.

Although the common treatment modalities such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have played major roles in bringing down the mortality and morbidity to a significant extent, complete cure is still uncertain and the prognosis varies depending upon the stage and type of the disease. Even when patients experience tumor regression immediately after therapy, recurrence or metastasis (spreading to other parts of the body) can occur later. Almost every day several cancer cells are formed in our body. This is because thousands of cell divisions take place in the body every day.  A few of these divisions resultin mutated cells giving birth to cancer cells. This is immediately tackled by the body’s immune system. The immune system is a complex network of cells and organs comprising of Lymphocytes, Macrophages, Dendritic Cells, Natural Killer Cells (NK Cells), Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes (CTL), Lymph Nodes etc., that work together to defend the body against attacks by “foreign” or “non-self” invaders including cancer cells. As soon as a cancerous cell is recognized, Lymphocytes are activated and the NK cells attack the cancer cell and kills it. When the immune system efficacy is overwhelmed, by an abundant cancer formation or when the immune system is weak, cancer evolves into a disease and starts growing.

The variable nature of cancerous cells causes each cancer to behave somewhat uniquely. In general, a multi-pronged approach to cancer is vital as cancer grows at different rates and responds to different treatment in different people.  Each type of cancer needs a specific combination of treatment aimed at that specific type of cancer. Once the cancer has spread to many parts of the body, total removal of the cancer growth by surgery may not be possible. At times, after removing a portion of the growth, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be necessary to treat to remnant portion of the cancer. It has been widely recognised that chemotherapy has profound toxic side effects and has limitations in efficacy. Radiotherapy may be another very effective mode of treatment in certain types of cancer, but it too has its own adverse effects as well. These two modalities affect not only the cancer affected cells, but also normal cells.

In a multi-pronged approach to treating cancer, the latest scientific advancement has yielded immune therapy and cancer vaccines. Consequently, many patients with advanced cancer opt for less toxic therapies like immune cell therapy and cancer vaccines which are collectively known as biological therapy.

Immunotherapy is a promising new addition to the family of cancer treatment that includes surgery, chemotherapy, radio-therapy and cancer vaccines. This mode of treatment uses to body’s immune system, either directly or indirectly, to fight cancer by enhancing the immune mechanisms of the body. As this therapy uses only the patient’s own cells for treatment, it is very safe and doesn’t result in any allergy.  Combining this with conventional therapy appropriate to apatient’s condition, type of cancer and regimen of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, further improves the outcome. As the immune cells of the patient does not affect the normal functioning cells of the bodyupon transfusion, it is very safe.

Immune Cell therapy called Autologous Immune Enhancement Therapy (AIET) is a treatment method in which some immune cells are taken out of a patient’s own (Autologous) peripheral blood or bone marrow.  This is then cultured and processed and activated or made to acquire additional functions until resistance to cancer is strengthened and the cells are put back in the body.By injecting the activated Immune cells back into a patient, the immune cells are able to kill cancer in the patient’s body and prolong their life. AIET can also be given as a preventive measure for those who are at high risk of getting cancer.  This together with a combination with life style changes can reduce the risk of getting cancer in the future.

Another immunotherapy method provided at Klinik Holistic Healthcare is the use of a combination of herbal, nutritional, detoxification and functional food therapy, combined with proper protocol using an integrated medical approach to boost a patient’s immune system to kill cancer cells in their body, thus optimizing a patient’s health to fight cancer. In some cases, remission occurs among cancer patients. This Immunotherapy method can be used together in adjunction with or without conventional therapy.  It helps prolong a cancer patient’s life especially in cases of advanced cancer. It has been shown that an integrated medical approach has a better outcome and able to improve the quality of a patient’s life. A similar result is noted by many integrated doctors worldwide in their clinical experience. An integrated medical approach, by combining western, naturopathic, herbalist, nutritional and  food therapy has promising results and a better quality of health care for all the cancer patients.