Immunotherapy derives from an observation in the 19th century that cancer sometimes regressed after acute bacterial infections, i.e. in response to nonspecific immunostimulant effect. But, in general, it appears that the immune response to cancer appears to be attenuated. Attempts have been made to stimulate the host's own immune system aspiring more effectively to kill cancer cells. Exploration of immunotherapy has involved:

• Nonspecific stimulation of active immunity with vaccines, e.g. BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin9) instilled into the urinary bladder for bladder cancer. More modern approaches involve the injection of tumour cells or tumour cell extracts combined with an immune stimulant such as BCG.

• Passive immunotherapy strategies with monoclonal antibodies raised against specific tumour-associated antigens. Targeted antibodies have the advantage of high cancer specificity and low host toxicity. Examples include rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody licensed for the treatment of low-grade, follicular lymphomas and trastuzumab (Herceptin), which specifically binds to the her2/neu (erbB2) receptor, which is overexpressed by some breast cancers. In combination with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy, trastuzumab significantly improves the survival of advanced breast cancer patients when compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy alone.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

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