Immunotherapy For Lung Cancer: Types, How It Works, and Drug Names – Lung cancer is one of the diseases responsible for the high number of human deaths worldwide. Cancer arises due to uncontrolled cell growth in lung tissue due to smo**king and unhealthy lifestyle.
In general, the human body’s defense system will detect cancer cells circulating in the body, then kill them. However, lung cancer cells are among the smartest. Cells can trick the body’s defense system until it is undetectable to the immune system.
Lung cancer is divided into stages 1-4. Patients with stages 1-2A can still be surgically treated, but for stage 3A and above, the therapy is more to palliative therapy, or improve the quality of life of the patient because of his or her small life expectancy.
Until now the main therapies of lung cancer were surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy.
At this time, the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy becomes one of the new standards of lung cancer treatment. The presence of immunotherapy answers the challenges of previous cancer treatment methods, namely improved therapeutic response and improved quality of life.
Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Tests
Immunotherapy For Lung Cancer Types
There are several types of immunotherapy for lung cancer patients tailored to the needs of cancer patients, including immune system checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy, cancer vaccine in the form of therapeutic vaccine to kill cancer cells, and adoptive T cell therapy that changes one type of white blood cell in cancer patients to be able to re-attack cancer cells.
Furthermore, immunotherapy not only serves as an additional treatment, but serves as the main treatment that can boost the immune system of people with lung cancer to fight the cancer cells themselves.
Immunotherapy For Lung Cancer How It Works
The working system of immunotherapy treatment is to directly target or inhibit the meeting of immune cells that are often utilized by cancer cells to avoid attacks from the immune system.
That way, the immune system in cancer patients will be much more active to fight those cancer cells. Nearly 25 percent of lung cancer patients who received immunotherapy and had never undergone chemotherapy before ware able to survive up to 5 years. As for patients who had undergone chemotherapy, the figure dropped to just over 15 percent.
The concept of immunotherapy is to empower immune cells to be more active against cancer cells.
Immunotherapy For Lung Cancer Drugs
Immune cells in the body are activated to fight cancer cells, using pembrolizumab or anti-PD-L1 drugs.
Pembrolizumab will then work by breaking the bond between pd1 receptors in T lymphocyte cells and PD-L1 on the surface of cancer cells. If successfully separated, the immune system will be able to eradicate cancer cells that were originally undetectable.
Imfinzi, which is chemically known as durvalumab, belongs to a new class of oncology drugs called PD-L1 that block tumor mechanisms used to avoid detection of the immune system.
Durvalumab treatment will increase the life span of sufferers. In addition, durvalumab also makes the progressive life of cancer patients reach an average of 17.2 months.
Progressive period or progression-free survival is the time span from patients undergoing treatment to needing medication again because the condition has worsened again due to cancer. This means patients need to undergo therapy again after cancer cells have not worked for 17.2 months. Meanwhile, the progressive period of patients not treated with durvalumab or placebo was only 5.6 months.
Atezolizumab, an anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy drug is devoted to patients with advanced cancer who have received platinum-based chemotherapy treatment.
Atezolizumab is claimed to provide an average of up to 13.8 months of survival rate and a long response duration of up to 23.9 months in advanced NSCLC lung cancer patients who did not respond to previous treatment.