Immunotherapy

Description

What it does

Helps to strengthen the body’s immune system to help fight infections and diseases as cancer, infections and chemotherapy reduces the number of immune cells in the body. The reduced number of immune cells make the body more susceptible to further infections or cancer recurrences.

How it works

A small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn and from it, selected immune cells (a total of at least one million cells are selected) are processed in a lab to be increased by 5,000 times. The drawn blood, which now has a highly potent mix of immune cells to help the body fight cancer and infections, is infused back into the patient’s bloodstream.

These are the four selected immune cells: 

  1. Natural Killer T (NKT) Cells – attack effectively and sustainably
  2. Natural Killer (NK) Cells – kill rapidly
  3. Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte (CTL) Cells – impart memory and immunity
  4. Dendritic (DC) Cells – recognise and analyse weak points of cancer cells

*Important: Patients should seek professional and medical advice from specialists before undergoing immunotherapy. 

Clinically, the treatment has been used for a very small number of cancers, and is used by some as the initial form of therapy before deciding on other courses of treatment, such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

Side effects are lesser compared to other treatments including chemotherapy; however patients should still be aware that it may cause side effects such as lung, kidney, bowel inflammation or joint pain.

Key benefits

  • Strengthens the body’s immune system
  • Lesser side effects compared to other treatments

Recommended for

Individuals who want to explore adjunctive treatments to surgery or chemotherapy and prevent future infections from occurring.