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Oncolytic virotherapy [3]

Oncolytic virotherapy [3]

Monotherapy with oncolytic viruses Current research on viruses indicates that malignant cell death can be caused by nearly every virus and in almost all types of tumours. The first of these studies was conducted at the end of the 1940s by Alice Moore who was the first scientist to prove that viruses had innate oncolytic properties. She did so by prescribing them to patients with a variety of different malignant tumours. In recent years, the range of studied viruses has…

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Oncolytic virotherapy [2]

Oncolytic virotherapy [2]

The effect of oncolytic viruses on the immune system Scientists began studying the impact of oncolytic viruses on the immune system in the 1960s. An oncolytic virus-induced immune response against tumours after active viral replication is now considered to be the main requirement for a successful treatment. Patients who experience an improved immune system response as a result of oncolytic virotherapy are considered to be elite responders. They can also expect the longest periods of disease regression. Therefore, in the…

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Oncolytic virotherapy [1]

Oncolytic virotherapy [1]

An interest in the practical application of viruses in oncology already emerged in the mid-19th century, when it was observed that terminally ill cancer patients experienced a regression in their tumours when suffering from an acute infection. The majority of these cases were observed in young patients with leukaemia and lymphomas. Although the remission was short-lived – one or two months – and a complete cure was never documented, the fact that any remission was observed was intriguing enough to…

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Chemotherapy [5]

Chemotherapy [5]

  Should I follow a special regimen during chemotherapy? Chemotherapy takes a toll on your body – both physically and emotionally. Some patients prefer to be in hospital during therapy and others choose to attend procedures as an outpatient, while other patients prefer to remain active and can successfully combine their daily routine with a course of chemotherapy. As your individual reaction to the chemo drugs is hard to predict, it’s difficult to say just how long you’ll be able…

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Chemotherapy [4]

Chemotherapy [4]

Chemotherapy can be administered in a variety of ways and this is largely due to the type of tumour, its progression and your overall health. Usually, this has already been studied in carefully planned clinical trials, which examined not only the efficacy of the particular drug but also its safety, tolerability, toxicity, optimal dosage, mode of administration and type of tumour for which the particular drug is best suited. Similarly, it’s also been studied how the drug spreads throughout the…

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Chemotherapy [3]

Chemotherapy [3]

What criteria does a doctor use when choosing chemotherapy? Whether a doctor chooses one drug (monotherapy) for you, a number of different drugs (combined chemotherapy) or successive changes to your chemotherapy regime depends on a number of factors. First, doctors are directed by European, American or Latvian treatment guidelines for specific tumours, adjusting them to local circumstances (mainly the availability of state-subsidised drugs). These guidelines have been compiled based on the experience gained from numerous clinical studies. It’s true, however,…

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Chemotherapy [1]

Chemotherapy [1]

Chemotherapy is one type of systemic treatment. This means that once the chemical substances, or drugs, enter the bloodstream, they spread throughout the entire body. While surgery and radiation are considered local treatment methods, drug therapy is systemic affecting the whole body. Patients traditionally refer to it simply as chemo, but today a wide variety of drugs are available, which differ not only in the way that they work, but also in their structure and how they were designed. Therefore,…

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How and with whom to share your diagnosis [1]

How and with whom to share your diagnosis [1]

At first you may want to tell the whole world about your pain, so that everyone knows what’s happened to you. The exact opposite may also be true – you’re deathly afraid that someone might learn the truth. Both situations, and dozens of other variations of these, are completely normal reactions. These are your feelings, your desires and your understanding of the situation at the time and that’s how it should be. However, you’ll soon realise that it’s best to…

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The cancer patient’s Road to Calvary

The cancer patient’s Road to Calvary

In this chapter I’ll discuss the various stages you’ll encounter over the course of the disease. From my experience I know that the better prepared a person is, the easier it is for him to accept what’s coming, to get past all of the difficult obstacles in his path and to start talking to other people about his experiences. First station – diagnosis Being diagnosed is a shock and also inspires feelings of fear, confusion, disbelief, desperation and hopelessness… In…

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Is it possible to be spontaneously cured of cancer?

Is it possible to be spontaneously cured of cancer?

Tales of a spontaneous cure (accidental, inexplicable, not connected with treatment) are very popular in the oral folklore of patients, when a terminally ill patient, without the aid of any medical professionals, gradually gets better and lives to a ripe old age. How beautiful this would be, if it were only true! It’s not uncommon for a mistaken diagnosis of cancer to be given while looking at symptoms of another illness. Every doctor has also seen a few cases where…

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