Some blocks

Shreeya D -

Hey everyone, welcome back to the weekly checkin.

For the past few weeks I’ve been focusing on research and dabbling in the lab settings, but this week I have gone back to background research to clear up some basics. I wanted to focus on the question: “Is this therapy a viable method of treating cancer?” Hence, I have been listening to podcasts and such to gather more insight into the question.

From what I’ve gathered, the effectiveness of immunotherapy can vary depending on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, the patient’s immune response, and the specific immunotherapy approach used. In certain cases such as melanoma (skin cancer), certain types of lymphoma, and some lung cancers, immunotherapy has shown success in inducing long-lasting remissions and even cures. This is especially true for patients whose cancers have molecular characteristics that make them more responsive to immunotherapy treatments, such as the antigens present on the surface.

Additionally, I have been deep-diving into some recent research that doctors have conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).  Here, 12 patients with rectal cancer, whose tumors were MRS-high (have lots of genetic mutations), were treated with ICI dostarlimab (a immune checkpoint drug) for 6 months. Despite being scheduled for rounds of chemo and radiation, the patients had a “complete clinical response” and were free of any evidence of cancer (Phillips, 2023). Hence, even though it is considered to be premature as a treatment method, immunotherapy has shown significant promise in curing certain types of cancer.

Sources:

Phillips, 2023

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