Biological therapy drugs based on the use of substances from living organisms or their derivatives obtained under laboratory conditions, for the treatment of various diseases.
Some biological cancer treatments are presented in vaccines or bacteria that stimulate the immune system to fight cancer cells. This kind of biological therapy called immunotherapy or biological response modifiers, are not aimed to kill cancer calls directly.
Third group of biological treatments is antibodies or segments of genetic material (RNA or DNA), target the cancer cells directly. This treatment is called targeted therapy. Such drugs inhibit specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression.
Biological treatment can be used to treat cancer and side effects of other cancer treatments as well. Biological drugs often show fewer side effects than chemotherapy drugs.
Most of the latest biological medicines are taken orally, in the form of tablets. Nevertheless, there are biological drugs, that administered intravenously.
Biopreparations, which are often used clinically in Israel today:
♦ Trastuzumab – Herceptin
♦ Bevacizumab – Avastin
♦ Cetuximab – Erbitux
♦ Erlotinib – Tarceva
♦ Sumatinib – Sutent
♦ Pembrolizumab – Keytruda
♦ Sorafenib – Nexavar
The immune system recognizes and destroys “alien invaders”, such as bacteria or viruses, as well as some damaged, sick or abnormal cells in the body, including cancerous ones. The immune response works when the immune system detects a foreign antigen.
Cancer treatment without chemotherapy
Most drugs that are currently being developed for the treatment of cancer usually contain a biological and immunotherapeutic basis. Although the research process of these drugs is long and can be assessed, on average, after 10 years, these drugs can already be used to fight some of the diseases.