Additional and New Therapeutic Options for Cervical Cancer
Individuals diagnosed with cervical cancer can take some measure of comfort in the vast array of treatment options that are currently available. You may be familiar with traditional methods such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy which have been used for many years with beneficial results. However, the advancement of medical technology has provided new therapeutic options that are becoming increasingly more prevalent.
Many researchers are studying a group of compounds that
are called angiogenesis inhibitors. Basically, this term refers to drugs that
will prohibit the development of new blood vessels which is called
angiogenesis. The goal of these inhibitors is to cut off a cancerous tumor’s
supply of nutrients and oxygen which eventually stops the tumor from growing
and spreading within the body. Once cancer cells reach approximately 1-2 mm in
diameter, they have to develop a blood supply to increase in size. By stopping
the destructive cells’ ability to form new blood vessels, the cells will no
longer be able to multiply. If you want to learn more about this process, we
suggest reading an online article produced by the Mayo Clinic at
Researchers have developed inhibitors based on their studies of certain foods that act as mild angiogenesis inhibitors within the body. For example, many foods such as Chinese cabbage, red wine, green tea and tofu that are prevalent in the oriental diets also inhibit the development of new vessels. These studies have resulted in the development of new drugs such as Avastin, Endostatin and Imatinib have produced promising results when treating diseases such as cervical cancer. Although recent medical advances in this area are impressive, anti-angiogenesis research is not new. In fact, a doctor named Judah Folkman began studying this process more than 30 years ago. Researchers have been able to expand on those initial studies to develop stronger, more effective angiogenesis inhibitors today.
New biological treatment options may include immunotherapy to combat cervical cancer. The treatment is based on research that reveals the very important role played by the immune system in the progression of cancer. Instead of attacking cancerous cells with radiation or chemicals, immunotherapy invokes the body’s own immune system to fight the disease. You may want to read an article published by the Medscape Medical News which addresses immunotherapy options for women with cervical cancer.
It is helpful to know a little about the immune system in order to understand how this treatment works. The immune system consists of B cells which react against invading viruses or bacteria by producing antibodies. These cells attach to the surface of the invader and mark it with the antibody so that they are easily recognizable by the body. T cells help to stimulate B cells in the production of antibodies which are able to effectively recognize and target foreign bodies. Immunotherapy involves using a vaccine that causes the body to create an immune response against certain cancerous cells. The immune response basically creates what is known as «killer cells» which target and destroy the specific cancerous cells. This form of treatment has both protective and therapeutic properties. The website for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America includes an article on immunotherapy as well as an opportunity to chat or email the center with questions: http://www.cancercenter.com/cervical-cancer/biotherapy-immunotherapy.cfm.
As you can see, new treatments for cervical cancer continue to be discovered. Researchers have developed vaccines made from the tobacco plant as well as vaccines used in immunotherapy which helps the body’s own immune system fight the disease.
This page was last updated:
April 2, 2007It is not the intention of Cervicalcancer.org to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Cervicalcancer.org urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.