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Fighting cancer with cellular therapy

Introduced in 2004, this therapy has reportedly shown exciting developments. Deepti Kaul talks to few experts.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 14:16 IST

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy have been around for decades. But they have only limited role in complete cure from cancer and they are not without side effects.

Until now, there were no therapies that could challenge this deadly disease but now, one can rely on biological therapy, which has a simple kind of process and has shown dramatic results.

Chemotherapy works on the principle of killing rapidly-dividing cells, leading to killing not only the tumor cells but also numerous other healthy cells causing adverse effects like diarrhoea, hair loss, general weakness and increased susceptibility to infections. Radiotherapy given for prolonged duration in turn can cause secondary tumour formation over a period.

Biological therapy, on the other hand, provides safe and effective results "This therapy is based on the concept of cancer recognition as antigenic, foreign element to the body, this therapy is being practiced in the whole world and is producing good results says Dr JA Khan, Director, Institute of Cellular Therapies.

"Basically it works as a vaccine for cancer, which strengthens the immunity system of the body and being the customised treatment one can't get them at counters" adds Dr Khan

This therapy was introduced in India in 2004 and is practiced in Institute of cellular therapies since then. "Over the last decade, exciting developments in cancer treatment have occurred in the form of biological therapy or immunotherapy as cell vaccines, peptide vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, etc. They are giving better results with least side effects", Dr Khan added

Hundreds of patients have been successfully treated with the help of this therapy and the one who have gone through this treatment show no sign of cancerous cells and lead a normal life.

(E-mail author: dkaul@hindustantimes.com)