Immunotherapy use in Advanced Cervical Cancer aims to activate the immune system and ensure that the body defeats the cancer itself. Immunotherapy, which has fewer side effects than chemotherapy and targeted smart therapies, creates a memory in immune cells and provides better, long-lasting and permanent responses.
Immunotherapy use in Advanced Cervical Cancer received FDA approval, after a response of up to 40%, with Pembrolizumab plus Lenvatinib. Immunotherapy includes different types of cell and vaccine treatments that can be taken in a health center, doctor’s office, or outpatient unit.
Cervical Cancer Treatment Options
Cervical cancer treatment mainly depends on the staging of the cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the main methods used. Surgery is considered a treatment option mainly when noticed at an early stage.
When the cancer is relatively small, surgery can remove the cancer tissue. Other options are removal of the cervix, known as trachelectomy, and removal of the cervix and uterus, known as hysterectomy. In this case, there is no chance of getting pregnant in the future.
Radiation therapy can be delivered externally through radiation beams or internally by placing a radioactive-filled device for a short time in the affected area. Chemotherapy is given by pill or intravenously. Other treatments include immunotherapy or supportive care.
While cancer develops, it uses many mechanisms that prevent the immune system from responding and destroying. Therapies used in immunotherapy provide an effective treatment by inhibiting these mechanisms and strengthening the immune system against cancerous cells.
What is the Use of Immunotherapy in Advanced Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer affects more than half a million people each year. It is the fourth most common cancer for women. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. This common virus is also linked to anal, genital, and head and neck cancers. Most people infected with HPV do not develop cancers associated with the virus.
For cervical cancer, an immunomodulator drug such as Pembrolizumab are used. It is a checkpoint inhibitor that targets the PD-1 / PD-L1 pathway. PD-L1 expression is FDA approved for patients with advanced cervical cancer with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) or high tumor mutation burden (TMB-H).