Immunotherapy with melanoma
Melanoma is one of the most aggressive malignant neoplasms. It already at early stages forms metastases in regional lymph nodes, liver, lungs and brain. The effectiveness of treatment depends on the timeliness of the diagnosis. The main method of therapy is a surgical operation, which does not always result in a complete recovery of the patient. To achieve a positive result in modern oncological clinics, a radical technique is used in conjunction with a pharmacological correction of immunity.Immunotherapy with melanomaprevents the development of relapses and enhances the positive result of a surgical operation.
The immunotherapeutic method consists in the medicamental activation of the protective abilities of the human body. Such treatment can be carried out in two main variants:
- An active method, which stimulates the function of the body's own defenses.
- Passive method, including the introduction into the circulatory system of artificially synthesized analogs of immunity elements.
The method of immunotherapy is shown in such cases:
- The presence of immunological tolerance of the organism to malignant neoplasm. In other words, the cells of the lymphatic system do not counteract the growth of a cancerous tumor.
- Rehabilitation period after the surgical operation.
- The presence of mutated melanoma cells in the deep layers of the skin.
- Preventive maintenance of relapse of primary onkoformirovanija integuments.
- Aggressive infiltrative growth of melanoma with signs of ulceration.
In general, immunotherapy with melanoma can not be superfluous. The decision on the introduction of such a method in the general course of anticancer therapy is made by the attending physician.
The method of correction of the body's defenses is not desirable if the patient has an allergic reaction to the components of the immunomodulatory drug. In this regard, before the treatment, the doctor must test the reaction to a pharmacological agent.
General contraindications can also include:
- Chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- Autoimmune pathologies.
- Pregnancy and the period of breastfeeding.
Efficiency and Benefits
Advantages of such treatment are as follows:
- Practically complete absence of contraindications.
- Simplicity of the methodology.
- High efficiency, which is achieved by the use of modern pharmacological agents.
What drugs are used to perform immunotherapy with melanoma?
To date, oncologists recommend the use of immunomodulators, which include monoclonal antibodies. Such drugs have selective sensitivity to cancer cells. Here are some of these tools:
This is an innovative medication for controlling melanoma in the late stages of growth. In 2014, it was approved by the American Community for the Quality Control of Medicines. The action of the agent consists in blocking the specific protein (PD-1), which is part of the shell of the cancer cell. It is this protein that masks a tumor from human lymphocytes. Ultimately, after taking this drug, the body begins to recognize and fight with a cancerous tumor.
Indications for use are:
- metastatic melanoma;
- an inoperable form of the tumor;
- absence of therapeutic effect of traditional anti-cancer techniques.
"Opdivo "(Opdivo / Nivolumab)
Immunotherapy with melanomawith the help of this tool resembles the effect of "Keitruda". In clinical trials, 32% of patients experienced a significant reduction in the size of the primary focus of the mutation.
This drug is intended for therapy of inoperable forms of melanoma. Monoclonal antibodies, which are part of the drug, cause the body's immune system to actively fight cancer.
This drug belongs to the group of inhibitors BRAF. Simply put, the drug depresses the function of the gene responsible for the growth and reproduction of malignant cells. The result of Zelboraf's application became noticeable already in the first days of its administration. The cancerous tumor becomes significantly less, and the patient feels better.
This is the newest drug blocking the BRAF gene. According to the latest scientific studies, in about 50% of cancer patients the activity of this gene is observed. Indications for the use of Dabrafenib is the presence of metastases and inoperable forms of melanoma in the late stages of cancer growth.
Side effects and other consequences
Despite the fact that immunotherapy with melanoma is aimed at combating cancer mutations, in some cases the body's immune system begins to attack its own healthy cells. In this case, patients may have violations in the work of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, endocrine and central nervous systems.
Side effects develop both during the course of the therapeutic course itself, and several months after its completion. If the patient has a complication during taking the drug, then further treatment should stop immediately. To restore the physiological state of the body, doctors prescribe hormonotherapy with corticosteroid preparations of increased concentration.
The main side effects of immunotherapy include:
- Allergic reactions of immediate and delayed type. In rare cases, the patient may experience anaphylactic shock and Quincke's edema. It should be noted that such body conditions carry a potential danger of death. But most cancer patients simply have reddening of the skin, accompanied by a sharp itch.
- Decrease in blood pressure.
- A significant increase in body temperature, which for a long time can not be normalized by traditional antipyretic agents. In such cases, doctors state a medical fever.
- Immunotherapy with melanoma can also provoke disorders from the digestive system in the form of constant nausea and periodic attacks of vomiting.
The price of immunotherapy depends on the chosen drug and the duration of the course of treatment. The cost of drugs based on monoclonal antibodies can be , 00-, 00 US dollars for 50 grams. But such a high price of drugs is comparable with their highest effectiveness in fighting cancerous tumors.
In the opinion of the majority of oncologists, systemic stimulation of the body's protective abilities can significantly prolong the life span of cancer patients with inoperable forms of tumors. Such treatment also causes stabilization of the process of atypical division of cancer cells and stops further metastasis of the tumor.
There are also reviews of patients whoimmunotherapy for melanomae contributed to their full recovery. At the same time such patients have stable remission after surgery..