Cancer represents number of the diseases characterized by abnormal growth of the cells in the body. There are more than 100 different types of cancer, for example lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, brain cancer and various other types depending on which type of cells are affected. It is known to be the second leading cause of deaths in the world.
Cancer can be fatal because the uncontrolled growth of cells leads to the formation of lumps and tumors which grow and grow to interfere with the body’s main systems like the circulatory, immune and nervous system. If they are not treated, these tumors can spread to other body parts and destroy well-functioning healthy organs. Among the main cancer symptoms belong breathlessness, weight loss, fatigue, tiredness, pale skin, vertigo and headaches, nausea or vomiting, blood in cough, blood in urine, blood in stool, weird persistent aches, unusual lumps, swelling in any part of the body, vaginal bleeding, difficulty in swallowing food, etc.
Early diagnosis of cancer generally increases the chances for successful treatment. Signs and symptoms described above are noted. For diagnosis and detection of the tumors imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRI, CT scan, PET scans and ultrasound are done. Sometimes endoscopy is also performed to look for any internal abnormalities in the body.
Cancer therapy depends on the severity and type of the disease spread in the body and patient is usually given a combination of the treatments. Standard cancer treatment typically contains tumor surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Surgical removal of the tumor is performed if the disease is localized and not metastasized. However, if the tumor cells have spread to other parts of the body, the surgery alone is not effective. Radiation treatment represents high energy rays focused to the cancer cells that are presented in the body. This therapy leads to shrinking of the cancer cells and subsequently to the cell death. Chemotherapy is used when cancer is spread to various body parts. The chemicals contained in chemotherapy stop the process of cell division and lead to the cell death. Unfortunately, chemotherapy kills tumor as well as normal cells in the body. It has various side effects that include vomiting, fatigue, infection, and hair loss. Long term chemotherapy causes organ damage including heart, lungs, liver, kidney, nervous system and other organs.
Dendritic cell therapy is a fairly new and effective immune therapy for the treatment of various types of cancer. Dendritic cells are prepared in specialized lab from the group of white blood cells called monocytes. To prepare dendritic cell based anti-cancer vaccine, 300ml of blood is obtained from the patient. Dendritic cell vaccine (DCV) is prepared in 3 weeks and must be stored deeply frozen in aliquots. Dendritic cells are injected under the skin (subcutaneous injection) and are able to migrate to lymph nodes where they are signaling to lymphocytes. Lymphocytes (another kind of white blood cells) are able to specifically kill cancer cells after obtaining information about the cancer antigens from dendritic cells. Thus DCV serves as a highly specific anti-cancer vaccine which is tailored to patient needs in order to eliminate cancer cells from the body without damaging healthy body cells. In other words, the main purpose of this treatment is to strengthen the body’s immune response against cancer.
Dendritic cell therapy, especially when patient´s own cells are used, has no side effects and painful reactions and works by strengthening the body’s immune response against cancer. The main benefits of the cell therapy include safe treatment, rejection free, high effectivity, quick recovery time, and painless procedure.