Reports from studies conducted in various research institutes are finding new ways of combining different types of radiation therapy with immune therapy to not only treat pancreatic cancer in mice, but also restructure the immune system to ‘remember’ the vaccine that helped fight the disease.
Results show that this combination destroyed pancreatic cells which spread to the other organs such as the liver. The liver is the most common organ which is attacked when one has pancreatic cancer. Studies report that pancreatic cancer is cause for concern as it spreads quickly and is hard to treat.
Surgery may not be an option, especially when pancreatic cancer is at advanced stages. It is located in a very delicate part of the body surrounded by many vital organs which makes surgery not a viable option. Chemotherapy is also not advised because of these same reasons. Besides, it has not been successful in controlling pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic tumors are famed for being extremely difficult to treat for various reasons including some listed previously. Pancreatic cancer destroys other proteins and tissue surrounding it and this now dangerous protein and cells shield the cancer cells from the antibodies sent by the immune system to fight the cancer cells.
This combining of treatment may be the hope that will transform many lives of patients with pancreatic cancer, whereby the treatment could achieve two tasks in one treatment: activate the cells to fight the cancerous ones and also change cells that inhibit the immune system to fight cancerous cells.
SBRT has been used in trials, where large doses of radiation are produced over a short time interval. This prepares the immune system to destroy the cancerous cells. Other drugs are used in the process. However, the side effects are what hold back this type of treatment as they are harsh and the patient requires a lot of care after treatment.