Ovarian cancer is one of the most common reproductive cancers that kill thousands of women every year. Treatment methods and their efficacy depend on the stage of cancer that the woman is suffering from.
Cancer treatment is an area where a lot of research and development is going on. While some clinical tries fail, there are other methodologies that sometimes meet with good success.
Treatment Methods For Ovarian Cancer
The normal treatment methods undertaken for ovarian cancer is surgical removal of the reproductive organs known as hysterectomy, radiation treatment which can be internal or external depending on how far the cancer has grown, chemotherapy and sometimes a combination of all three for improving the survival rate of the person.
In advanced cases of ovarian cancer, the doctor might choose to put the patient through new treatment methods that are still in the testing stage like a biologic therapies, targeted therapies and sometimes clinical trials which may or may not meet with success, based on individual cases.
Vaccine Therapy For Ovarian Cancer
Among the medley of researches going on, the one that holds promise is a targeted vaccine that helps in stimulating the immune system of those people who are affected with ovarian cancer. Vaccine therapy was a clinical trial that was undertaken in the year 2004. It was suggested as a possible treatment method for ovarian cancer. Being a targeted therapy, vaccine therapy will target only the cancerous cells in the body, helping the preservation of the surrounding organs and also healthy cells.
The vaccine is genetically engineered and helps in exciting the immune system. The immune system will soon recognise the cancerous cells and start destroying them completely. Vaccine therapy is still in its rudimentary stage and requires more research for treating it as a successful therapy for ovarian cancer.
How Does Vaccine Therapy Work?
Vaccine therapy is being explored for a number of cancers. The vaccines work by activating certain immune cells which are known as B cells. These cells are responsible for the production of antibodies that cover the receptors on the cancerous cells. This will prevent the communication between the cancerous cells that help in multiplication and prevent the cells from multiplying uncontrollably. The B cells, also known as Killer T cells or cytotoxic T cells release a certain kind of toxin that initiates self destruction of the cancer cells.
Administering vaccine therapy will help in the halting of cancerous growth and prevent recurrence of cancer. It is also used after a chemotherapy and radiation treatment in order to make sure that all the cancer cells are effectively destroyed and the chance of recurrence greatly reduced. For ovarian cancer, the administration of therapy vaccine is known to prevent the resurgence of cancer for a period of up to 19 months.
However, due to the fact that vaccine therapy is still under research, it cannot be used as a common treatment method for ovarian cancer. Let’s hope that vaccine therapy emerges as a major breakthrough in ovarian cancer treatment, giving hope and life to many women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year.