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Unlocking the Power of Immunotherapy: How Stage 4 Cancer Patients Are Defeating Death

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Unlocking Hope: Understanding and Embracing Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment

Cancer, a formidable adversary that strikes fear into the hearts of many, is the second leading cause of death worldwide. As the gravity of cancer is often determined by the severity of its symptoms, various stages demand different treatment approaches. Amidst conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, a beacon of hope is emerging in the form of immunotherapy.

What is Immunotherapy?

According to, immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that utilizes substances created in a laboratory to boost the immune system, aiding in the detection and destruction of cancer cells. This groundbreaking treatment operates through diverse mechanisms, some enhancing the body’s defense mechanisms to impede the development of cancer cells, while others target and eliminate cancer cells or prevent their spread to other parts of the body. Immunotherapy can be employed alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or other cancer treatments.

More Effective for Advanced Stages

Speaking with TOI, Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit, Senior Director of Medical Oncology at BLK-Max Super Specialty Hospital, highlighted that immunotherapy proves particularly beneficial in the advanced stages of kidney, stomach, lung, and breast cancers. Dr. Anant Mohan, Head of the Pulmonology Department at AIIMS, emphasized that immunotherapy can be seen as a promising treatment for appropriately selected patients.

Not Universally Prescribed

However, immunotherapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Dr. Prabhat Malik, Professor of Medical Oncology at AIIMS, explained that approximately 25-30% of patients undergoing this therapy witness its maximum benefits. The selection process involves considering specific biomarkers, and those with a favorable profile are more likely to experience positive outcomes.

The Cost of Immunotherapy

While immunotherapy stands out as a remarkable treatment option, its exorbitant cost poses a challenge, making it inaccessible to the general population. In India, the cost of immunotherapy sessions ranges from approximately ₹1,50,000 to ₹4,50,000, contingent upon the patient’s condition. This financial barrier prevents many from availing themselves of the potential benefits of this advanced treatment.

In the ever-evolving landscape of cancer treatment, immunotherapy emerges as a ray of hope, especially for those facing advanced stages of the disease. However, the intricate selection process, coupled with the high cost, restricts its universal applicability. As research continues to unfold, it is crucial to strike a balance between technological advancements and accessibility, ensuring that innovative treatments like immunotherapy become a beacon of hope for all.