The immune system and cancer coexist in close relationship which is an indispensable part of the processes of tumorigenesis, tumor growth, and metastatic spread. The elucidation and understanding of this continuous process could provide opportunities to develop strategies to impact the prognosis, and eventually to improve the cancer treatment process. Such strategies have been already implicated and proven efficient in the treatment of several tumor localizations such as malignant melanoma, lung and renal cancer. The present publication reviews the principles of cancer-related immune response, types and mechanisms of immune response and suppression, immunotherapy of solid tumors. We also discuss the pathways and the signaling molecules, participating in those immune response/suppression processes, turning them into potential targets and their actual and potential future role in the management of solid tumors. We focus on potential role and rationale for combination of immunotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic/targeted agents and radiotherapy in one treatment strategy.
Part of the book: Immunopathology and Immunomodulation
Worldwide, more than 1 million people develop colorectal cancer (CRC) annually. CRC is a major health problem in the Western world and the second most common cause of cancer mortality. To improve performance, the role of chemotherapy for CRC has increased dramatically over the last decade. The vast majority of CRC patients now receive chemotherapy with multiple agents that are currently approved for the treatment in the appropriate setting . However, it is a complex process to select the optimal chemotherapy for each patient and practice evidence gap is still a problem. Some guidelines for the treatment of CRC have been developed to promote the standardization of CRC treatment. Postoperative, or “adjuvant,” systemic therapy has become standard for stage III colon cancer. Adjuvant therapy should also be strongly considered in stage II patients. It is generally recommended for any medically fit patient with stage II cancer with unfavorable factors. The hypothesis that the antitumor activity of the combination agent, including oxaliplatin, irinotecan, bevacizumab, cetuximab in metastatic cure rates, would result in increased adjuvant proved to be often wrong. Although new drug development takes years, targeted drug use can occur more quickly with advanced tests and will be a focus of future work. In addition, efforts will focus on identifying biomarkers that predict response to systemic therapy so that tailored therapy can be initiated. The future of oncology will come with the better understanding of the biology and genetics of the tumor and its host. This will help to develop tailored approach to the patients, including more specific systemic therapy, aimed at molecular targets of the malignant tumor, thus reducing the negative effects. At that time, the treatment of oncological diseases will experience a new era, comparable to the introduction of antibiotics.
Part of the book: Colorectal Cancer