SNCC Offers Immunotherapy, Cancer Vaccines

When dealing with cancer, there are many treatment options available. Determining the best and most effective treatment for your cancer case can seem overwhelming, which is why you need a cancer expert on your side to answer questions. And one set of questions you may have may be about immunotherapy, which can include cancer vaccines.

“Immunotherapy is a constantly evolving treatment option for cancer,” said Dr. Jorge Perez with Sierra Nevada Cancer Center. “Its focus is on enhancing the immune system, enacting the body’s own defenses to fight off, or stop, the spread of cancer in the body.”

Immunotherapy can help treat a variety of cancers such as melanoma, breast, prostate and lung cancer.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is responsible for the majority of skin cancer-related deaths. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, whereas prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths. The most common treatment options for these types of cancer may consist of surgery followed by radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

But for many different types of cancer, immunotherapy has shown to be effective in a variety of clinical outcomes for patients with cancer. Immunotherapy can be used in conjunction with other cancer treatment options such as radiation or chemotherapy.

The most effective immunotherapy treatments for cancer consist of:

  • cancer vaccines, which help trigger the immune system to attack tumor antigens;
  • monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), where generated molecules or antibodies target cancer tumors by causing an immune response;

Checkpoint inhibitors, which are target molecules that produce or enhance pre-existing anti-cancer immune responses to attack cancer cells.

Cancer vaccines

 There are two different types of cancer vaccines: vaccines that can prevent certain types of cancer and vaccines that can help treat cancer.

Similar to traditional vaccines used to prevent the chickenpox or the flu, cancer vaccines can help prevent or treat cancer. Preventive cancer vaccines are most effective for cancers known to be caused by infections, like the HPV vaccine, which helps prevent cervical, anal or throat cancers that can begin as an infection. Most cancers such as lung, prostate and breast cancers are not thought to be caused by infections and therefore can not be prevented by a cancer vaccine. joe tippens protocol

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