Alternative Cancer Treatments

Alternative Cancer Treatments are increasingly being used for treating
cancer patients. The treatments are either used a sole therapy or in
combination with traditional therapies to cure cancer. These treatments are
based on the fact that our own immune system provides the first and best
defense against cancer. In alternative cancer treatments vaccines stimulate
patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells. The
treatments are customized according to the patient ailing with cancer.Some of the therapies used in an alternative cancer treatment program
are:1. Dendritic Cell TherapyCancer occurs when the immune system fails and comes across tumor cells.
Macrophage or monocyte is an immune cell that comes in contact with th
cancerous or precancerous cell. (Pre)cancerous cell signals the macrophage
of any unhealthy cell. Macrophage breaks the cell into little pieces with the
help of little packets of enzymes. The little pieces are then either moved to
another type of immune cell or transformed to what is call a ‘Dendritic Cell’.
These cells are found in all tissues of the body. The very first dendritic cell
discovered occurs throughout the skin and is called a Langerhan’s cell.
Dendritic cells are helpful in switching on an immune response and these
stimulate the T-cells to become active against tumors.Experiments have proved that these dendritic cells with tumor antigens can
provide effective response against cancer. It is possible to produce large
number of dendritic cells from the circulating blood of cancer patients, find
source of tumor antigen and mature them.Dendritic cell therapy is very effective when used with other types of
immune therapies. The therapy itself is also useful for patients with high
risk of recurrence once the tumor is removed by surgery.2. Coley VaccineThis Vaccine was developed by William Coley, a surgeon in 1893 at the New
York Cancer Hospital. Coley discovered that when his vaccine caused a
fever, the cancer shrank and number of immune cells increased
dramatically. Usually, fevers are suppressed with medicinal drugs like
acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen. But studies have shown that
suppressing a fever not only makes the infection worse but also spreads it.
Coley recognized the beneficial effects of fever in cancer patients. He also
discovered that when he stopped injecting the vaccine too early, the cancer
started growing again. Thus, immune cells could be stimulated to fight the
cancer for a limited time only. So, he used repeated injections to stimulate
the immune system continuously.Though it is called Coley’s vaccine, it does not work to prevent an infection.
Rather, it induces an immune response. Similarly, Coley’s toxins are not
toxins though they contain endotoxins and exotoxins. Under the therapy,
Coley’s toxins are injected into the affected tissues. Injection makes the
cancer tissue necrotic which is then removed by drains. Injections are
repeatedly given either daily or after every two days, however this varies
from person to person.3. Heat Shock Antigen Cancer VaccineImmune therapies for cancer stimulate white blood cells to attack cancer
cells. Vaccines reprogram patient’s immune system to recognize and attack
the cells having the cancer fingerprint. Heat shock antigen vaccine captures
the particular cancer’s ‘fingerprint,’ which contains unique antigens. The
personalized vaccine treats immune systems of cancer patients with little or
no side effects.HSAV is made from patients’ tumors and heat shock proteins that are
produced by patients’ white blood cells. Part or all of the cancerous tissue
is removed through surgery. White blood cells contain heat shock proteins
that are purified and mixed with purified antigens from the tumor. The
mixture is filtered and put into vials. The final product is tested for quality
and sterility.4. Cytokines Cancer Vaccine TreatmentCytokines, also known as immune hormones can both enhance and
suppress immunity. For cancer treatments, cytokines enhance immunity.
FDA has approved two cytokines, interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-alfa 2b,
to be used against certain cancers. Combinations of cytokines deliver
better results. For example, Interleukin-2 stimulates white blood cells to
divide. A very high dose of it will be required if it is used individually.
However, that can cause negative side effects. The solution to this can be
the use of natural combination produced by white blood cells.
By using the combination, the dose of IL-2 can be lowered. Effects of heat
shock protein vaccines and dendritic cell vaccines can be enhanced when
given with natural cytokine combination.5. Photodynamic Cancer TherapyPhotodynamic therapy is a revolutionary medical technology that uses light
to induce reactions in patient’s body. The therapy can destroy unwanted
tissues without affecting normal tissues. A drug called a photosensitiser is
injected into patient’s body. The drug makes cells more sensitive to light
and eventually destroys the cell. The drug has no effect until exposed to a
particular type of light.6. Immuno-Augmentive TherapyThe prime objective of IAT is restoring the immune system to enable it to
destroy cancer cells. The therapy restores cancer patient’s immune
competency so that it can control cancer. Once the natural immune system
is restored, patient’s own body becomes capable of treating itself. IAT
treatment is not a cure for cancer but a means of restoring natural balance
of the system.