Treatment of melanoma by Interferon
The main method of getting rid of melanoma is surgical excision of the tumor within healthy tissues. However, in order to remove metastases and prevent tumor recurrence, systemic chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy or the treatment of melanoma with interferon are used.
What is this "Interferon" preparation?
In the human body there are cells of immunity - cytokines. They struggle with various stimuli, including those with tumor structures. When cancer cells become many or reduce the amount of cytokines, immunity can not cope with oncology. Preparations with interferon are artificially derived cytokines, which are the most similar to natural human cells. The drug "Interferon" has the same name with the active substance - interferon-alpha.
The drug stimulates the immune system, directing it to fight cancer. Its isolated application will not help to cope with oncology, but a complex appointment, together with surgical treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, yields a good result.
Clinical studies and anti-cancer properties of "Interferon"
Investigations of the clinical effectiveness of "Interferon" have been carried out repeatedly. It was unequivocally established that the appointment of immunotherapy reduces the number of cancer recurrences by a factor of 2 and in almost the same way increases the five-year survival of patients. However, the number of side effects and toxic effects also increased by 2 times, which was due to the use of high doses of the drug.
Other clinical trials have shown that combinations of chemotherapy and immunotherapy reduce severity and number of side effects, but with it a 5-10% decrease in survival patients. This indicates the importance of individual selection of the protocol of treatment, depending on the stage of the disease and the overall status of the patient.
Research into the effectiveness of "Interferon" continues to this day. The benefit of the drug is unambiguously proven, therefore all the workings and tests of scientists are now based on the development of schemes combinations of different methods of anticancer therapy in order to reduce side effects and maintain efficacy therapy.
The anti-cancer properties of "Interferon" are as follows:
- Suppresses cellular proliferation, which is excessive in melanoma.
- Stimulates the maturation of tumor cells, reducing the degree of their malignancy.
- Slows angiogenesis (germination of new blood vessels) into the tumor, which stops the progression of both the main focus and metastasis.
- Activates macrophages, T-lymphocytes and NK cells, which are responsible for immunity, which increases the body's resistance to the effects of the tumor and the influence of external factors.
Mechanism of action of the drug in melanoma
Analyzing the anti-cancer properties of the drug, we can conclude that "Interferon" has two main effects: antitumor and immunomodulating. It acts directly on tumor cells when using high doses. And low or maintenance doses of drugs allow to keep immunity at the proper level and not to give rise to relapse of melanoma.
Due to the systemic action, the treatment is able to destroy even small accumulations of malignant cells, which can not be seen by visualization diagnostic methods (ultrasound, CT, MRI). Therefore, the probability of recurrence of the tumor in the internal organs after a few years becomes much less.
How correctly to take for treatment of a melanoma?
There are different schemes for the appointment of "Interferon which is controlled by oncologists, depending on the stage of melanoma and the degree of involvement of other organs. The most common is a course of treatment, combining the introduction of a loading dose of the drug (20 million units per square meter body surface 5 times a week) for a month with the subsequent appointment of maintenance therapy at 10-12 months. Doses and multiplicity of administration vary from individual situation and concomitant treatment (chemotherapy, radiation therapy).
The drug is excreted by the kidneys, so the main contraindication to its use is the creatinine clearance less than 50 ml per minute, which characterizes severe renal dysfunction. Another contraindication may be the individual intolerance of the components.
With care use immunotherapy "Interferon" with severe renal pathology, decompensated diseases of the cardiovascular system and during pregnancy. However, these conditions are not contraindications if the potential harm from treatment exceeds the expected benefit.
Also, relative contraindications include:
- myocardial infarction in acute stage;
- severe heart rhythm disturbances;
- cirrhosis of the liver in the stage of decompensation in combination with chronic viral hepatitis;
- the use of immunosuppressants in connection with previous organ transplantation;
- autoimmune pathologies with uncontrolled course;
- severe violations of mental status.
Who is the manufacturer of "Interferon"?
The drug is produced by a pharmacological company in Israel. Analogues are available in many countries, including Russia (human recombinant interferon at 100 IU).
Price and where to buy?
In Israel, the drug can be purchased at a pharmacy that cooperates with the pharmacological company that produces the medicine. In Russia and Ukraine, this drug can be ordered at an online pharmacy. The cost differs from the dose. The average price is 171 USD for 18 million. IU and 388 USD for 30 million. IU.
Are there analogues?
There are many analogues on the market. They have different cost and effectiveness, as well as individual indications for use. However, you can buy an analogue only after consulting a specialist who prescribed treatment.
Interferon-containing drugs include:
Immunotherapy, like other treatments for melanoma, is not devoid of side effects. Especially they are manifested in the appointment of high doses of "Interferon" - the drug has a toxic effect on all organs. Not only this drug, but also other agents for immunotherapy, give side effects to organs and systems:
- Common reactions in the form of headache, weakness, fever, weight loss.
- The reaction from the gastrointestinal tract can manifest itself in the form of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- The musculoskeletal system reacts to the drug with the appearance of pain in the bones and muscles.
- On the part of the central nervous system, irritability, depression, insomnia, decreased concentration and tearfulness were noted.
- The skin can respond with the appearance of an itchy rash. Also, there may be a general dryness of the skin and limited hair loss.
When using "Interferon" in a dose of up to 100 million. MN per square meter of a person's body was most often fever, headache, muscle aches and general weakness. 72 hours after the last administration of the drug the body temperature was normalized and the general condition improved. If the temperature lasts more than three days, there is a possibility of a secondary infection, so you should consult your doctor.
Treatment of melanoma by interferon has its positive and negative sides, but according to statistics, such therapy increases the life expectancy of patients with melanoma..