- Immunotherapy with dendritic cells offers patients another chance to fight cancer.
- The dendritic cell therapy was approved by the U.S Food & Drug Administration in 2010.
- Dr. Hari Goyal spoke to Medindia about "Immunotherapy with Dendritic Cells.
Dr. Hari Goyal, is a senior oncologist and the head of oncology unit at Atermis Hospitals in Gurgaon, India His career in the field of Oncology was initiated at Tata Memorial Centre after completing DM in medical oncology from AIIMS at Delhi IMMUNOTHERAPY WITH DENDRITIC CELLS for Cancer Patients
Immunotherapy with dendritic cells for treatment for cancer is practiced in many countries including UK and USA. The response rate of the therapy is very encouraging Normally Dendritic Cell Therapy (DCT) can be received after conventional therapy for cancer, that is radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. People are advised to complete the conventional treatment available for cancer, and then have DCT administered, to prevent relapse and reduce the progression of cancer cells. According to the experts, the current DC therapy approach is far from optimal. Many patients treated with DC vaccines have failed to respond and only about 15 percent of the patients respond positively. Dendritic Cell therapy can be considered when every other therapy option is exhausted, or if the disease is stable and the patient is not on any chemo or radiation therapies concurrently, or if the patient is at risk for recurrence of cancer and is seeking to potentially reduce the risk
LDG India in collaboration with the renowned Germany based laboratory "Dr. Gansuage" has initiated this medical facility in India.
INTERVIEW WITH DR.HARI GOYAL
The following is an exclusive interview with Dr. Hari Goyal conducted by Medindia to know about his views on the treatment of immunotherapy with dendritic cells for cancer.
1. Please explain in simple words what is immunotherapy for cancer?
Ans: Chemotherapy is the standard treatment given to every cancer patient wherein chemotherapy kills healthy cells along with the cancer cells. Whereas, Immunotherapy is target directed treatment and kills cancer cells with no adverse effect on healthy tissue. Immunotherapy boosts the body's natural defense mechanism and helps patient lead a relatively healthy life during the treatment as well.
2. How is dendritic cell immunotherapy better for cancer?
Ans: Treatment with the dendritic cell is a gentle treatment. Compared to other forms of treatment, side effects only occur very rarely after vaccination with dendritic cells. Observed side effects are just slight fever and weakness.
3. For which cancers is dendritic cell immunotherapy used?
Ans: Almost every type of cancer can be treated by this method. Still, no randomized trials or data is available. I select patients who have progressed on present standard treatment.
4. What is the cost of such treatment?
Ans: Presently the cost is high, but once we absorb the complete technology in the lab named LDG India based in Gurgaon, it is very likely to go down.
5.Can you tell our members on how to prevent cancers?
Ans: The only mantra to lead a cancer-free life is to have a healthy lifestyle and to have good diet habits.
6. Tell us about yourself and what motivated you to become an oncologist?
Ans: When I was doing my internship, I realized that cancer causes so much physical, mental and financial pain with little or no gain. This inspired me to work for cancer patients with more passion and help patients in some or other way. With technology getting advanced every moment. There is still a lot which can be done for it.
About Dendritic Cell therapyDendritic cells are found in the bloodstream and are a unique set of antigen-producing cells that are usually present in very small numbers whose main function is to identify foreign substances, including cancer cells and rectify them. Since dendritic cells are considered as the most potent antigen-producing cells, they have been used in cancer immuno-therapy to induce specific anti-tumor immunity to attack the tumor cells. The first attempt to use dendritic cells as cancer vaccines in humans was made by Edgar Engleman and Ronald Levy at the Stanford University.
- The Stanford University experts through treatments for various types cancers have confirmed the efficacy of the Dendritic Cell (DC) therapy
- The studies conducted by the Stanford experts reveal that DC therapy is a generally safe and promising form of immuno-therapy which can be applied to a wide range of malignancies
- DC therapy is documented as most effective against B cell lymphoma, myeloma, melanoma, prostate cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and renal cell cancer amongst other types of cancer
A Note of CautionIf the patient opts for Dendritic Cell Therapy (DCT) he should consult with a reputable and knowledgeable physician and seek professional advice on the cancer and DC therapy, thereby carefully weigh treatment options. Also, the treatment in itself is very expensive and the people are advised to stay away from fraudsters who may take advantage of the vulnerability of the patients by giving false hope.
- What's new in cancer immunotherapy research? - (https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/immunotherapy/whats-new-in-immunotherapy-research.html)
- Dendritic Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trials: Are We Making Progress? - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3861778/)