Cancer is an immune-related disease as well as genes. It is the duty of the immune system to locate and neutralize precancerous cells (which are likely to become cancerous) and to maintain order in the body. This is something that happens to us all day in and day out.
However, if a person’s defense system is weak, the precancerous cells may empty and multiply, which can result in the formation of some kind of cancer. One example of this is HIV infection. The virus that causes AIDS destroys the body’s natural defenses, especially by destroying immune cells. The type of cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma is seen in AIDS patients at high rates.
So far, the preferred method of dealing with immune-related diseases has always been to kill invaders such as bacteria, viruses or cancer cells. However, this approach has lost its popularity due to the high cost of the drugs used in the fight.
An alternative strategy is to support the body’s own defense system. A new type of cancer drug acts according to this principle: monoclonal antibodies, for example, target cancer cells in the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The body labels the cancer cells so that their immune system can clearly see and kill the cancer cells.