Chemotherapy can describe the use of any drug to treat any disease. In particular, chemotherapy primarily refers to medications used for cancer treatment. Traditionally chemotherapy often called ‘chemo’ treatments were administered intravenously to combat cancer or disease. When applied intravenously, chemotherapy drugs travel throughout the body and kill other cancer cells. In particular, this form of treatment was designed to combat cancer because of the cancerous cells’ natural tendency to develop from the original malignancy or tumor and spread throughout the body.
Combination Treatments Used Can Be Effective Cancer Treatments
As a result, intravenous chemotherapy treatment became an effective alternative or method used alone or in combination with other forms of treatment for disease or cancer. Combination treatment is not only effective but highly versatile. This treatment now gives medical professionals the ability to use this application before, during, or after other medication or surgical procedures, which can be tailor-made to treat each patient’s diagnosed form of cancer and increase the effectiveness of those treatment results.
Generally, chemotherapy regiments will be administered to patients in timed cycles. These cycles consist of interval dosage or a combination[s] of drug treatments administered throughout these cycles. Once a chemotherapy regiment is completed, patients will usually subside from a period so healthy cells will have time to recover in their bodies. Chemotherapy drug regimens are applied according to each diagnosed case. Besides, effectiveness and applied methodology, traditionally are determined from past studies and clinical trials.
Standard Chemotherapy Cancer Treatment Goal For- Cure, Control, And Palliation
In contrast, one of the main reasons clinical trials are performed and observed by doctors or scientists is to develop new treatments for chronic disease. These studies help the patient receive the best treatment options available to effectively benefit their overall recovery. Standard chemotherapy treatments are typically broken down into three goals to obtain, such as: to cure, to control, and palliation.
Goal To Cure Cancer
The ultimate goal is to eradicate or cure cancer. Often, numerous treatments or applications have to be applied for the chemotherapy treatments to be ultimately effective. These ‘chemo’ treatment therapies can sometimes take years to cure or confirm that cancer has been eliminated from the body.
The Idea Behind Controlling Cancer
If the standard treatment alone cannot possibly eradicate cancer cells within a reasonable period upon diagnosis, then the next step will be to control cancer. By controlling disease, the treatment applied may stop the spread of cancer into other parts of the body. If successful, the treatments should shrink tumors or advanced malignancies within the body.
As a result, effectively controlling the spread or size of these cancerous cells could enhance the likelihood of better health and well-being for cancer patients. Even if the cancer is never completely eradicated, the chronic condition is still able to be successfully treated. Over time, cases of cancer that are controlled can help diagnosed patients live a better life.
Palliative Intent Treatment Goal
Patients with advanced stages of cancer may not have the opportunity to cure or control the diagnosed disease. Palliation treatment goals intend to help relieve symptoms inflicted by cancer. All in all, the primary purpose of palliation chemotherapy treatment is to help the patient feel better.
For example, if an enlarged tumor is causing severe pain within a person’s body, chemotherapy may be used to shrink the tumor, thereby relieving pressure or pain, the cancer is causing the individual. Although chemotherapy treatments are used for controlling or eliminating cancer as a cure generally is designed not only to ease symptoms but to improve the quality of a patient’s life. Not All Forms Of Cancer Are Treated The Same
Most of the time, the drug treatments or combination therapies will be determined by the type of cancer, location of cancer, the size of cancer, and how cancer or tumor is affecting the body in regards to a patient’s current health. Even if two different people have the same or similar health background and cancer diagnosis, the treatment regiments can vary. This goes to show that not all forms of cancer are treated the same.
Surgical Removal or Therapy
Other types of therapy used to treat cancer in conjunction with chemotherapy are surgery and radiation. Surgery can sometimes remove or remove some of a cancer tumor. One example of surgery is called debulking, which is the voluntary removal or reduction of a cancerous tumor that might damage an organ or specific part in the body. Removing part of a tumor or cancer cells can help other treatments work better. Surgical therapies are used to remove tumors that are causing pain or pressure and can be used in combination with chemotherapy treatments as an active combatant against cancer.
Radiation therapy can also be used for treating cancer alone or combined with chemotherapy or other combination treatments. Radiation therapies use x-rays, protons, or other sources of energy to single out a specific area of cancer within the body. Typically, this is used to eliminate small areas of cancer or reduce the size of larger areas before chemotherapy, or other intraoperative surgeries are performed. Initially, radiation therapy is recommended only to be used with combined treatment or in clinical trials.
Choosing Chemotherapy Drugs, Dosage, And Regiment Schedule
Determining a chemotherapy drug, treatment dose, or schedule will boil down to factors known between the doctor and patient. “Determinants such as: the stage of the cancer; the type and subtype of cancer; results of the tumor[s], patient’s age, patient’s medications and health condition; serious health problem considerations or other diseases, and types of cancer treatments given in the past.”
In some instances, the best chemotherapy treatment will be decided upon studies and information published in medical journals. These results may lead to helping a patient receive the most tailored care for their diagnosis. Other factors to consider when weighing the options or receiving a custom fit treatment plan will be to know if the patient[s]are: elderly, obese, have taken or currently using other medicines, have already had or currently receiving radiation therapy, have low blood cell counts have liver or kidney disease, or unable to tolerate the full doses outlined with the potential chemotherapy treatment.
All chemotherapy treatments are not the same when it comes to the drug, dose, and intervals applied. Numerous variables are recorded, measured, and weighed out before a scheduled chemotherapy regiment is assigned. In other cases, there are other options available that can be combined with and outside of chemotherapy treatment.
Hormone Therapy For Cancer Treatment
Hormone therapy is used to treat cancer that use hormones to grow, such as some prostate and breast cancers. Hormone therapy used as a cancer treatment slows or stops the growth of cancer that uses hormones to develop. Hormone therapy is also called hormonal therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy. Hormone therapy treatment can reduce the risk of cancer returning by either stopping or slowing its growth. This therapy is applied by blocking the ability of hormone production in the body in order to intervene with hormonal reactions in the body.
By combining hormone therapy with other treatments, hormone therapy can make tumors smaller before radiation therapy or surgery (which is called neoadjuvant therapy); reduce the risk of the cancer returning after a primary treatment or procedure is performed (adjuvant therapy), and destroy cancerous cells spread to other areas in a patient’s body.
Immunotherapy For Cancer Treatment
Our immune system is comprised of cells, organs, antibodies, and other substances, that protect humans from infection and disease. The problem with fighting off cancer is that cancer cells can trick our immune system by evading detection or secreting chemicals that prevent healthy cells or lymphocytes from removing damaged cells. When the cancerous cells go undetected by the immune system, those cells are still recognized as healthy cells in the body. As a result, those cells can grow to form tumors and spread cancerous growth throughout the body. Other times, the immune system may identify the cancer cells, but might not be strong enough to destroy the cells.
Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that uses a person’s natural immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy has the ability to boost or change how the immune system works so it can find and attack cancer cells. This treatment uses specific parts of a patient’s immune system to battle diseases such as cancer. These treatments work by boosting the human body’s natural immune system defenses to locate and fight cancer cells. By stimulating the immune system, your body is then going to stimulate its natural antibodies to work harder to find and fight against cancerous cells. Besides, introducing synthetic antibodies into the body’s immune system can be an extremely effective way to fight against cancer cells too.
Synthetic antibodies known as monoclonal antibodies are synthetic immune system proteins. The artificial antibodies introduced in the body work naturally with all of the other immune system proteins and cells. Monoclonal antibodies are the most common immune system proteins used for treatment. In all, the cancer is then fought by boosting the body’s immune system so much that it destroys the cancer cells.
Another form of synthetic antibodies is conjugated monoclonal antibodies. In particular, conjugated monoclonal antibodies are designed with a chemotherapy treatment drug and radioactive particle. These antibodies are synthesized this way, so specific types of cancer can be located quickly and fought effectively. Another purpose for the conjugated synthesis of this type of immune protein is to reduce other cells in the body from becoming harmed.
If your treatment plan includes immunotherapy, knowing how it works and what to expect can often help you prepare for treatment and make informed decisions about your care. Using this form of therapy helps enable your body to naturally eliminate or reduce cancer by utilizing its natural immunities from the body also, while immunotherapy is coaching the body to naturally fight cancer or disease, with the help of drugs or scientific applications.
Immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors are designed to activate or deactivate innate immune system cells in the body to trigger an immune response to fight cancer. These drugs do not directly attack cancer cells, but instead, they enable healthy cells within the body to recognize invading cancer cells. Cancer cells can secrete chemicals that help evade detection from healthy cells or lymphocytes, and these ‘checkpoint’ inhibitor drugs make the body naturally aware so it can build up an immune defense to attack the cancerous cells readily.
Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy
This form of immune system therapy used T-cells drawn from a patient’s blood. The T-cells from the blood are then injected with a specific virus that makes the cells learn how to attach to foreign cells or tumors. This process can take a few weeks in the lab before genetic alteration, and sufficient cell production is completed for therapy treatment. After the virus is injected into the T-cells, learn how to attach to the tumor, and the lab has genetically altered the patient’s cells, then a CAR-T cell transfusion will be scheduled to take place.
Cytokines are used to manage and prevent chemotherapy side effects. These small proteins in the body control activity and growth of other cells. Cytokine proteins affect the development of all cellular immune and inflammation system responses in the body. In addition, the proteins also have the ability to restrict or eliminate foreign or cancerous cell growth in the body.
These proteins are also synthesized in a lab. They are applied by injection into a cancer patient and are useful in boosting signals to the body’s immune system to stop cancer cells from spreading.
Immunomodulators are a drug group that is used to primarily treat multiple myeloma and a few other forms of cancer. Some of these treatments can be topically applied, as well. These drugs react by rejecting synthesized proteins in the body or accepting other proteins for activating immune system responses within the body to fight cancer. These treatments are known to have some extreme side-effects, which can cause nerve damage.
One type of drug called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is an actual germ that is not harmful to humans but does attach to immune cells and triggers an immune system response to cancerous cells. This drug is primarily used to treat the early stages of bladder cancer and is applied through the use of a catheter into the bladder.
As a result, the drug attracts the immune system’s cells to the bladder; therefore, naturally initiating an attack on the cancer cells. Another type of immunomodulator is a topical drug called imiquimod. After topical application, the drug stimulates an immune response against skin cancer cells. This treatment is often used during or in the early stages of skin cancer.
Cancer vaccines are injected into the body to initiate an immune system response against specific diseases. These vaccines have the same premise of any other vaccine, which is to help prevent or treat disease. More vaccines are being developed as time and research continue.
Another form of treatment that is being continually developed is called oncolytic therapy treatment. This immune treatment form is composed of lab modified viruses made to infect and kill specific cancer or tumor cells. As time goes on, more viruses are captured and altered to bolster the use and effect of these therapy treatment applications.
A highly specific type of therapy treatment known as targeted therapy uses drugs or other synthetic substances to precisely locate and battle particular kinds of cancer cells. Targeted therapy is known to be used alone or in conjunction as a treatment combined with other forms of treatment. These forms of treatment include but are not limited to standard chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, which can all be applied with target therapy medicine regiments.
Targeted therapy is innately personalized because the treatment is designed to concentrate or ‘target’ specific cancerous cells or tumors. This particular type of therapy is often referred to as personalized medicine or treatment. Drugs used for this type of treatment are made to either restrict or stop the blood supply to cancer cells; start an immune system response; reorganize proteins inside cancers cells to shut them down; block chemical reactions of cancer cells in the body, and distribute the targeted drug to cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
Target Therapy Drugs – Small Molecule or Large Molecule
These targeted therapy drugs are categorized as either small or large molecule drugs. The small molecule drugs operate by locating specific substances or enzymes within the cancer cell and then block them. Large molecule drugs perform their duties by attacking enyzmes or cancerous proteins on the cancer cell surface. Once the large molecule drugs enact with the cancer cell, they start to work their way into the heart of the tumor or malignancy. These drugs are designed to wear down cancer and break it down. Some of these drugs are also broken down into particular treatment types, which can be separated into inhibitors and antibodies.
Target Therapy Inhibitor Treatment Types
Some of these inhibitors are angiogenesis, proteasome, and signal transduction. Angiogenesis inhibitors block the formation of new blood vessels to cancer cells, ultimately stopping the blood flow that keeps the cancer cells alive. Proteasome inhibitors interrupt the normal cell function so the cancer cells will become confused and die. Then signal transduction inhibitors are also designed to disrupt the normal cell functions or signals which cause the cancer cell to react negatively, which are widely used for treating leukemia.
Target Therapy Antibodies For Use As Treatment
Here another form of targeted therapy used for treatment is monoclonal antibodies. This treatment form is also used or functions like an immunotherapy treatment because some antibody regiments are designed to significantly boost the immune system to enable the body to build up a natural offensive for attacking cancer cells. Other monoclonal antibodies are primarily targeted treatments because they are synthesized to attack certain cancer cells in the body. Those synthesized antibodies surpass healthy cells and go straight to the identified cancer to fight it without triggering the body’s immune system.
Versatility With Combination Treatments Can Be Effective For Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
Research and studies show there are versatile options available to treat cancer or mesothelioma cancer. In particular, pleural mesothelioma cancer is caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos fibers or particulates. Pleural mesothelioma cancer is developed in the lining of the lungs and Is caused primarily from exposure to asbestos particulate buildup in these areas. This type of cancer can take decades to develop and occurs not only from primary, but secondhand exposure.
Asbestos Exposure Found To Be Harmful
Asbestos is a group or cluster of silicate mineral fibers that naturally reside in the earth. For centuries, these silicate minerals were mined and used in thousands of applications, from household to commercial goods. The fire-resistant and tensile strength characteristics of the asbestos mineral fibers made them a staple in building products and other goods throughout the world.
Unfortunately, in the midpart of the twentieth century, asbestos exposure was found to be extremely harmful when inhaled or swallowed. Today, we know that all asbestos mineral fibers are carcinogenic, and consistent exposure linked to them can be detrimental to human health. Mesothelioma cancer is categorized into three types: pericardial, peritoneal, and pleural, which is the most commonly contracted form of mesothelioma cancer in the world. Every year, over 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in the United States.
Combined Treatments With Other Treatments And Surgery
Also, treatment combinations can be exceptional methods for cancer patients to have for battling their particular diagnosis. As discussed, some treatments are more effective for patients because of the versatility of applying the drugs before, during, or after surgery. These treatments are used accordingly to best treat their diagnosed cancer.
One such therapy called Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is applied before the primary surgery or treatment. This therapy treatment type is used in combination to help reduce or weaken the cancerous area before surgical removal. Neoadjuvant therapies are known to be administered in cycles and then tested after the applications are administered.
In turn, chemotherapy application that is applied after the primary cancer treatment or surgery is called Adjuvant therapy. These applications administered after surgical removal of tumors or cancer cells are utilized to help curtail and eliminate other remaining cells outside of the primarily malignant area or tumor. Sometimes these after treatment therapies or cycles are known to be like an extra-hand in removing extra-cancerous cells outside of the primary tumor or cancerous area.
Hyperthermic Intrathoracic Chemotherapy HITHOC)
Another combination of therapy that has been showed to be effective in treating mesothelioma is Hyperthermic Intrathoracic Chemotherapy (HITHOC). In the description, this treatment is applied by directly delivering drug doses to the chest cavity area while surgery is being performed. Past results have marked success for this form of therapy when used to the treatment of pleural mesothelioma.
Indian Doctors Remove Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
Recently, medical professionals in India, reported that a patient, diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma of the left cavity, was cured after being treated. Here, a 65-year-old woman from Iraq came to the accredited Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon, India, to be examined by a team of expert doctors, after complaining of extreme pain around the left side of her chest. For years, the Iraqi native struggled with respiratory problems amid other health issues but had no idea that she could have cancer. Her symptoms were very extreme and consisted of her not even having the ability to walk without losing her breath.
Upon arrival and after careful examination, medical experts found the woman to be diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma of the left cavity. The experts considered her diagnosis to be an advanced form of cancer. Immediately, the medical professionals put her on four cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink and stop the growth of her cancer. After the cycles were administered, the woman received a PET/CT test.
Positron Emission Tomography- Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Test
A Positron Emission Tomography- Computed Tomography or PET/CT test is done by using small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers or radiopharmaceuticals. After these materials enter into the body, they are monitored by a specific camera linked to a computer, which is utilized to evaluate the patient’s organ and tissue functions. Intrinsically, these changes in organ or tissue function are identified at the cellular level within these tests and are a useful tool for specifically recognizing onset disease developments such as pleural mesothelioma.
Indian Doctors Consider Treatment For Patients Advanced Stage Of Pleural Mesothelioma
Here, considering her condition and the stage of the disease, doctors advised that surgery needed to be performed so that the pleura of the left chest cavity could be removed along with the involved part of the lung, pericardium, and diaphragm. This specific surgery or procedure is called a Pleurectomy. Next, once the affected area is removed, the medical team can then administer an Intraoperative Hyperthermic Chemotherapy (HITHOC) treatment. In light of the urgent medical situation, doctors briefed the patient and her family about the high risk associated with the surgery due to her advanced complications. After the surgery, once the combined procedure was complete, the woman enjoyed a healthy recovery.
Surgical Treatment With Combined Therapies Should Be Evaluated
Upon careful evaluation and examination, the patient’s family and doctors reported the woman to be cured of pleural mesothelioma cancer after treatment at their facilities. As a result of recorded surgically combined treatments and procedures, the evidence of more than a “few” successful experiences seems to confirm that new operations could be offered to prolong survival in selected patients with advanced-stage lung cancer, and therefore it is fantastic to consider the possible role of debulking surgery and HITHOC for selected stage IV NSCLC. Caution is necessary, and consequently, randomized controlled trials should be mandatory to evaluate the real benefit of this promising approach