Low-dose immunotherapy (LDI), a modern modality to treat cancer, could be revolutionary if it demonstrates competent outcomes.
Specialists have started treating patients in advanced stages of head and neck cancer (a group of cancers of the sinuses, mouth, nose, or throat) and they are precisely assessing the outcomes.
Healthcare professionals also used Immunotherapy for the treatment of advanced-stage lung, kidney, melanoma (skin cancer), bladder, liver, and cancers of the blood.
While treating cancer, there are several negative effects of medicines on patients, such as vomiting, hair loss, and mouth ulcers. But with this therapy, health specialists can greatly scale down all the negative effects on the human body.
According to Dr. Hemant Malhotra, director and professor and head (medical oncology), Sri Ram Cancer Centre at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Jaipur, “After the diagnosis of cancer, one of the major issues for all concerned; patient, family, or payers – is the overall cost of treatment. Immunotherapy and Immuno-Oncology is the new kid on the block and is a modern and promising modality in order to treat cancer for a selected population. Although it is a big-budget modality, each cycle of treatment typically costs around a lakh of rupees. In recent times, there is some tantalizing data and trial outcomes from Tata Memorial Cancer Center, Mumbai that low-dose immunotherapy (around 10-20% of the usual dose) may also be promising. If this is fixed by larger, multicentric studies, this could be revolutionary for this modality of treatment, mainly for low-middle income nations and for the non-insured, needful patients.”
Though, health specialists are precisely monitoring the outcomes of low-dose immunotherapy on those receiving it.
“We need to make our excitement less extreme and wait for further data before this can become the standard of care for the maximum number of patients. Carrying out trials of low-dose immunotherapy is going to be tough as industry favor for such assessments is unlikely to exist and oncology institutions, societies, and individuals will have to come together for this to be successful,” said Dr. Malhotra.
In addition, health specialists at Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital have started providing this low-dose immunotherapy.
According to Dr. Tarachand Gupta, Medical Oncologist at BMCH, “In our hospital, 15 to 20 patients are receiving this low-dose immunotherapy, which tends to cost less than the standard immunotherapy, which is almost hard to access for a maximum of the patients.”
He stated that all those receiving this therapy (low-dose immunotherapy) are experiencing less pain and the size of their tumor has also been scaled down.
Health professionals are now monitoring the survival time span of cancer patients in advanced stage receiving immunotherapy.