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.
Once a patient is diagnosed with cancer, he is offered a number of treatment options that can include: surgical resection, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other modern therapies such as biological therapy and immunotherapy. The most common treatment for most types of cancer in the early stages is surgery. However, if the disease is diagnosed at a later stage, it is likely that the patient will also be offered chemotherapy.
Over the past 50 years, chemotherapy has been the workhorse of oncologists. However, in recent decades, some chemotherapeutic drugs have been replaced by advanced drugs, such as immunotherapy and biological treatments.
In fact, about 90% of the drugs that are currently being studied for cancer treatment are either biological or immunological rather than chemotherapeutic. Some of these drugs have already been developed and were widely used to replace chemotherapy for some cancer patients.
Since the effect of a biological or immunotherapeutic drug is estimated at 10 years, a significant entry of these drugs into our lives is yet to come. However, patients who are eligible for such treatment can already receive these drugs even before their final commercial approval by clinical trials in Israel and around the world.
Chemotherapy – Why to replace old familiar medications?
Cancer treatment with chemotherapy began in full force in the 1950s. Since then, extensive experience has been used to optimize existing types of chemotherapy and develop new chemotherapeutic agents.
The range of efficacy of chemotherapy is broad and, first of all, is related to the type of cancer and the stage at which it was detected. Some chemotherapeutic drugs increase life expectancy by several months, while others can even cure the disease.
However, most chemotherapeutic drugs, both effective and ineffective, have side effects that worsen the quality of life, cause severe stress to the body, and can also lead to life-threatening conditions.
The most common side effects are fatigue, diarrhea and constipation.
It is important to note that biological and immunological drugs also cause systemic side effects, but this happens, as a rule, much less often.
Biological and immunotherapeutic drugs complement drug therapy in advanced cancer. The main cause of serious side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs is that they affect not only cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs damage cancer cells, destroying the processes of their division, and since in our body there are many healthy cells that quickly divide, these healthy cells also suffer from chemotherapy.
These facts have led to the fact that the medical world has developed more effective, purposeful and safe drugs. The last two groups of cancer treatment are biological methods of treatment and immunotherapy. They are aimed at using the protective mechanisms of the body to fight cancer cells, while reducing the damage to healthy cells and reducing side effects.
Although the development of most biological and immunological drugs began only in the early 2000s, biological and immunotherapeutic agents have already been tested and approved for use.
Another unexpected conclusion from another study is that the side effects of chemotherapy seem more terrible than they really are. But despite the side effects, most of the population still agrees to chemotherapy.
It is particularly important to note that most of these studies were conducted prior to breakthroughs in advanced treatment methods in the 2000s.
Thus, although chemotherapy has been the most common drug for most cancer patients in recent decades, more and more chemotherapy drugs are being squeezed out of the recommended lines for better treatment regimens.
While most of today’s cancer research is focused on biological and immunotherapeutic drugs, this trend is growing in the coming years. Such advanced treatments are already in the drug basket for some diseases, while free treatment can also be obtained during clinical trials when the patient meets the experimental conditions.