Traditional cancer therapies (such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy) have shown widespread success against various cancer types, but are known to have toxic, undesirable side effects as they do not selectively kill cancer cells and therefore actively damage healthy cells as well. This is where immunotherapy comes into play. Immunotherapy is a form of therapy that uses the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer within it. Think of your body as a battlefield and your immune system the frontline of soldiers, ready to attack foreign invaders. The problem with cancer cells is that they are not easily recognized as foreign pathogens (such as viruses or bacteria) because they originate in the host’s body and mutate from normal cells. It has long been postulated that the immune system could be used to target and kill cancer cells, but the process of figuring out how to harness this ability is not a simple task.
The risk of a COVID-19 diagnosis for breast cancer patients is still not completely known. Studies have come that show that cancer patients are more at risk of adverse effects if they develop COVID-19. However, a few studies state that compared to other cancer patients, breast cancer patients are at a lower risk of serious illness. The stage of breast cancer also seems to play a role in one’s risk level.
CBCN had the opportunity to join researchers, clinicians, manufacturers and other patients at this annual European conference to learn the latest insights and findings in cancer research. Here’s the research that we found most interesting as breast cancer patients:
Last month, we had the opportunity to attend the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Here’s some of the key highlights to come out of the conference.
It’s powerful what happens when patients, caregivers, and clinicians come together to look at research priorities; a broad list of questions that encompasses a variety of viewpoints emerges.