Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor therapy

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are antibodies that help activate the immune system from being dormant. Our immune system is dormant until there is a need to fight foreign bodies, like an infection. Because Cancer hides from the immune system, the immune system doesn’t know it needs to go to work. Immune checkpoint inhibitors enable the T-cell to see cancer cells as a threat.
T-cells are like a car ignition that gets the immune system off and running. They stimulate the immune system to fight and kill cancer cells.

How Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors medicine approach cancer?

T cells protect the body from cancer by killing certain cancer cells. But cancer cells evolve proteins called checkpoint proteins to protect themselves from T cells.  Immune checkpoint inhibitors block those protective proteins allowing the T cell to work. Thus, the T cells can kill the cancer cells.

Examples of checkpoint proteins found on T cells or cancer cells include PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4/B7-1/B7-2. Some immune checkpoint inhibitors have been developed to block these proteins and treat certain cancers.

Which cancers are treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors?

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are approved to treat some patients with a variety of cancer types, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Renal cell cancer (a type of kidney cancer)
  • Skin cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Any solid tumor that is not able to repair errors in its DNA that occur when the DNA is copied

1. Request the treatment (by e-mail or in an electronic form) supplemented with your medical information:

      • records of medical history,
      • the latest general clinical, and biochemical blood test.

2. Based on these documents, doctors will make an assessment of your health condition and make the decision on the suitability of the therapy.

Possible side effects

Immune checkpoint inhibitors can cause different types of side effects depending on the type of immune checkpoint inhibitor and the dose, type of cancer, and how advanced it is and the general condition of the patient plays its role in how the patient would tolerate the therapy. The common side effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors to look out for include:
·        Rash
·        Diarrhea
·        Fatigue

Widespread inflammation is another rare side effect of this unique treatment symptom of the inflammation varies depending on the affected organ:

  • Inflammation of the Lung (Cough and chest pains)
  • Inflammation of the Pancreas can present as Diabetes
  • Inflammation of the skin (rash, itchiness, skin color changes
  • Inflammation of the Colon (Abdominal pain and diarrhea)
  • Inflammation of the Liver (Hepatitis)
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle (Myocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the Kidney (Nephritis and impaired kidney function)
  • Inflammation of the thyroid (Overactive or underactive Thyroid)
  • Inflammation of the pituitary gland (Hypophysitis)
  • Inflammation of the nerves (Numbness, muscle weakness which could lead to trouble breathing especially if the diaphragm is affected)
  • Inflammation of the Joint (Joint pain)

The Integrative approach

Adverse effects have always been the hard puzzle to solve in most forms of treatment, but integrative medicine has provided us with the opportunity not only to enhance the efficacy of the treatment but to also successfully manage the side effects.

Paying for Checkpoint Inhibitor Medicine

The treatment of your cancer with checkpoint inhibitor therapy may be covered by your insurance.

Treatment using checkpoint inhibitor medicine can be expensive.

Book a consultation

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