For years, medical professionals have worked towards finding a cancer cure to effectively treat patients. What makes cancer hard to treat is that a cancerous tumor has more than just one type of cell.
This explains why certain medication works only for some types of cancers, while fails to treat other types. It is precisely because of this reason that a cancer patient undergoes a combination of therapies instead of just one therapy. Such combination is helpful in treating the tumor and its complete removal from the body.
Cancer Cell Resistance
If we go by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, a cure for cancer is still out of medical science’s reach on account of the resistance building capacity of the cancer cells. Because of this property of cancer cells, most drugs work only for a while. The cancer cells are able to mutate and such mutation allows those cells to become resistant to the drugs leading to their unstoppable growth.
The only choice for oncologists following such behavior of cancer cells is alteration of treatment. “Yes, patients have to change therapies, and they’re on therapies for a long time, but their lives can be extended for years and years,” the center’s Dr. Joyce Ohm stated.
Long Life of Cancer Cells, and Remedies thereof
Cancer cells tend to have a long life, especially given their resistance building capability. Owing to this, the treatments may not work for as long as expected. It is observed that these cells are able to figure out ways to shield themselves against medication and treatments. Hence, it becomes essential that the doctors come up with newer medications and treatment methods over time.
Currently immunotherapy seems to be working. But with passage of time, its effectiveness is decreasing probably because the cancer cells are becoming immune to it. Will a cancer cure ever be at humanity’s disposal? That remains to be seen.
A great documentary about Jim Allison, inventor of Ipilimumab, a Immuno-therapy drug that can cure some cancers and pioneer of CTLA-4 research. Please watch and share!#JimAllison #JimAllisonPBS #cancercure #ipilimumab #yervoy #PBS #curemelanoma https://t.co/erobPbsUdj
— Dakota Otero (@Dak_Otero) April 28, 2020
“We’re making progress,” Dr. Ohm said. “It feels slow, and sometimes it’s not fast enough for our patients. We know that, and that’s hard, but we are making tremendous progress. Today, when treatments do fail, we have a bigger toolbox.”