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How Does The Immune System React To Cancer?

The immune system plays a vital role in our body. It is essential for survival and protects the body against attacks from several viruses, parasites, bacteria, etc. The immune system consists of different types of cells, organs, tissues, and proteins and is spread throughout the body. It helps the body fight against diseases and severe infections.

The immune system also protects the body from the harmful effects of cancer cells. But in some situations, the immune system may not detect cancer cells and result in a tumour. This may, in turn, end up weakening the immune system. Cancer is one of the most life-threatening diseases. Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre is one of the most preferred hospitals for cancer treatment.

How Does The Immune System Work?

The immune system is responsible for protecting the body; as soon as it observes any harmful or foreign substance. This substance can be anything, like bacteria, viruses, and are called antigens. Moreover, antigens can be toxins, chemicals, or damaged cells due to sunburn or cancer. The immune system attacks antigens as soon as it detects them, referred to as immune response.

Innate or non-specific immunity and adaptive or specific immunity are the two different types of immune responses. They make antibodies, which help destroy and weaken antigens. If the same antigen is detected by the immune system again, it immediately generates antibodies and destroys the antigen.

What Is Immunotherapy?

Immuno-oncology is a study that refers to developing treatments that use the body’s immune system to fight against cancer. In other terms, it is a research field that concentrates on reactivating the body’s immune response to fight against cancer. A type of treatment that uses the immune system to protect your body from cancer is immunotherapy. It is the most common cancer treatment in India.

How Does Immunotherapy Work Against Cancer?

As the immune system’s normal function, it identifies abnormal cells and prevents their growth. Many times, immune cells are found in and around tumours and are referred to as tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes or TILs. If TILs are found, it is an indication that the immune system is responding to cancer. Immunotherapy helps in:

  • Boosting cancer cells and helps fight against cancer
  • Educating the immune system to recognize cancer cells and attack them
  • Providing the body with additional elements that promote an immune response

Immunotherapy is given in different forms, such as cancer vaccines, checkpoint inhibitors, adjuvants, targeted antibodies, tumour-infecting viruses, adoptive cell transfer, and cytokines. All these therapies are a kind of biotherapy, as they include components from living organisms. In some cases, immunotherapy is used in combination with radiation, chemotherapy, or targeted therapies to boost effectiveness.

Types Of Immunotherapy

  • T-cell Transfer Therapy

T-cell transfer therapy enhances T-cell ability to fight against cancer. In this type of therapy, the cells from the tumour are taken, the most effective ones against cancer are selected and are put back inside your body via a needle.

  • Treatment Vaccines

Treatment vaccines boost the immune system to protect your body against cancer.

  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs. They block immune checkpoints. Checkpoints help immune responses to be strong. As drugs block immune checkpoints, they boost immune cells to respond more effectively to cancer.

  • Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are immune system proteins. They are created to concentrate on specific cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies are referred to as therapeutic antibodies. Such antibodies focus on specific cancer cells that are destroyed by the immune system.

  • Immune System Modulators

Immune system modulators boost the immune response to fight against cancer. Some modulators block pathways that suppress immune cells, called antagonists, and some stimulate pathways that activate immune cells.


You can seek the best cancer treatment in India at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCIRC). It is Asia’s one of the most comprehensive centres that provide the best treatment for several cancer types. It is India’s first hospital to adopt robotic surgery, install a molecular laboratory, and establish an actual beam for precision radiotherapy.

RGCIRC is equipped with 500 beds, two state-of-art minor operation theatres, and cutting-edge modular operation theatres. It is also equipped with 21 bedded medical ICU, 51 bedded surgical ICU, a dedicated 22 bedded bone marrow transplant section, a separate thyroid section, and a Leukemia ward.

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