While immunotherapy is typically a treatment for cancer patients, it has also been found to benefit patients with HIV. Before, it was thought that the therapy might have unfavorable effects for people for HIV, such as virus reactivation. Here is some further information about the therapy and how it benefits HIV patients.
What Is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a treatment that helps a person’s immune system work harder to fight off diseases, including cancer. It stops the growth of cancer cells, prevents cancer from spreading, and helps the immune system more effectively kill cancer cells. The treatment works particularly well for certain cancers that don’t respond as well to radiation or chemotherapy, like skin cancer. Immunotherapy also has fewer side effects than other cancer treatments because it attacks only the immune system, not all the cells in the body.
How Does Immunotherapy Help HIV Patients?
New research suggests that HIV patients can safely use the same type of immunotherapy for cancer treatment. People with HIV have a higher risk of developing cancer than those who aren’t infected. However, traditional cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, can reverse HIV suppression.
Scientists discovered that checkpoint inhibitors, in particular, provided benefits for patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer strongly connected to HIV infection for which there aren’t many successful treatment options. Also, it was found that individuals with HIV didn’t experience further side effects and the virus remained undetectable in 93% of patients who had an undetectable viral load before beginning treatment.
If you have additional questions about immunotherapy, turn to the professionals at Integrative Medicine of New York, PLLC in Westbury, NY. The facility provides cancer patients and people suffering from autoimmune disorders effective alternatives to traditional treatments. These integrative medicine specialists have a mission to help people live healthier lives by introducing them to a more holistic approach to their daily living. For more information about their services, call (516) 759-4200 or visit their website.