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How Immunotherapy Offers New Hope For Cancer Patients?

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Immunotherapy drugs bring exceptionally effective results in treating some cancers. While this treatment can work miraculously for some patients, it might fail to work for others.

Nearly 40 percent of males and females get diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Fortunately, in today’s world of medical advancements and innovation, cancer treatment is possible, and the disease is certainly not a death sentence. Out of all possible cancer treatments, immunotherapy is a miraculous treatment that gives efficacious results. 

Immunotherapy is a type of treatment to treat different cancers that help unleash the immune system’s power to fight cancer back. Talking about the preferable country for cancer treatment, India is one of the preferences for getting immunotherapy treatment. Apart from the success rate of the treatment, the immunotherapy cost in India is another factor people prefer the country for their medical treatment. 

The overall response rate of cancer patients to immunotherapy treatment lies between 20% and 50%, depending on the type of cancer and its stage.

How Does Immunotherapy Work Against Cancer?

A healthy immune system protects the body from foreign particles and viruses to damage cells that could become cancerous at a later stage. Basically, the immune system is a complex process of cells, organs, and proteins that prepare the body to fight cancer. 

However, when the immune system weakens, viruses find the damaged cells and attack them. This results in the formation of cancerous tumors that keep on growing and spreading. 

In such cases, Immunotherapy is highly recommended by training the immune system to identify and kill cancer cells at a higher rate. In this way, this treatment stops the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body as well. 

There are different types of immunotherapy that may be used depending on the severity and type of cancer, and they are:

  • Adoptive cell therapy (T-cell transfer therapy)
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Checkpoint inhibitors
  • Immune system modulators
  • Oncolytic virus therapy

For Which Cancers Is Immunotherapy Most Effective?

Immunotherapy treatment has shown successful results in treating 15 types of cancers, and they are:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Lymphomas
  • Leukemia
  • Breast cancer
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Post-Immunotherapy Treatment?

Like other cancer treatments, there are side effects involved after undergoing immunotherapy treatment that can disrupt daily life. Basically, this treatment is an effective cancer-fighting process that strengthens the immune system to make it capable of fighting cancer back. 

However, there are chances that these newly-formed immune cells may attack healthy cells causing inflamed tissues. These side effects are called immune-related adverse effects. Approximately 20 percent of patients experience severe adverse effects after undergoing immunotherapy:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fluctuation in thyroid hormone levels
  • Itchy rash
  • Nausea and vomiting 

Is Immunotherapy Treatment Available In India?

The answer is yes. India is one of the countries where immunotherapy treatment is available at renowned hospitals. Although immunotherapy is not extensively put to use as compared to other cancer treatments, it shows 20-40% effective results in patients. 

Further, the immunotherapy cost in India ranges between USD 3,600 and USD 4,400. During immunotherapy sessions, the patient has to stay in the hospital for three days and 90 days outside the hospital, including the entire cancer treatment. This stay totally depends on the type of cancer that needs to be treated. 

However, there may be additional costs associated with the procedure as well:

  • Type of hospital and room opted
  • Cost of review tests
  • Additional tests, if there are any
  • Side effects, if occur
  • Pre-procedure diagnostic tests
  • Cost of food and accommodation in case of follow-ups 

Now, let’s discuss the availability of the best hospitals that offer affordable immunotherapy costs in India

BLK Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi:

  • The institute has a well-equipped cancer center that offers quality treatment and care to its patients.
  • The hospital has ultramodern techniques available for the treatment of breast cancer, like 3D conformal partial breast irradiation that reduces the duration of radiation treatment.
  • The center is amongst the first hospitals to provide HIPEC treatment facilities in India. 

Dharamshila Narayana Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi:

  • It was the first cancer hospital in North India that is considered one of the leading cancer institutes in India. 
  • The center treats around two million cancer patients annually in 30 different medical disciples. 
  • It is the first NABH-accredited hospital in India that performs the highest number of complex head and neck surgeries to treat tumors. 

Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, New Delhi:

  • It is one of the largest and most renowned cancer centers in Asia.
  • The NABH-accredited hospital treats over 60,000 cancer patients annually. 
  • The institute has a NABH-accredited blood bank and an NABL-accredited laboratory. 
  • The center had 152 beds when it was founded in 1996, but now has 302 beds.

Sant Parmanand Hospital, New Delhi:

  • Founded in 2003, the institute has conducted over 25,000 free surgeries till 2015.
  • The institute has handled over 22 lakh OPD cases. 
  • The center offers medical facilities for 31 varied medical disciples. 

Venkateshwar Hospital, New Delhi:

  • Established in 2016, this is India’s first hospital with world-class furniture and equipment by Paramount Japan. 
  • The center provides 24*7 services in different departments like emergency, pharmacy, laboratory, IPDs, and blood bank. 

Immunotherapy has proven to be one of the most effective treatments to treat cancer and other medical conditions, qualifying it as one of the sought-after treatment procedures. People have access to this treatment with affordable immunotherapy costs in India and shorter waiting lists with the rising medical tourism in the country.

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