Today, new immunotherapies bring hope to patients. Oncologists report that some patients with once uniformly fatal metastatic melanoma (skin cancer) survive for a long period. This is unexpected and real progress. It is not understood why melanomas respond better. Similar trials in pancreatic cancer or glioblastoma were utter failures. This treatment aims to stimulate the immune system to attack new preys such as the cancer cells. Most of these immunotherapies are antibodies that allow white blood cells to attack kill and eat melanoma cells. These treatments are not better tolerated than the old chemotherapies because these activated white blood cells may attack and devour the lungs, the joints or even the patient's brain.
Kroschinsky, F., Stölzel, F., von Bonin, S., Beutel, G., Kochanek, M., Kiehl, M., & Schellongowski, P. (2017). New drugs, new toxicities: severe side effects of modern targeted and immunotherapy of cancer and their management. Critical Care, 21(1), 89.
White blood cells activated by immunotherapy will attack cancer cells. They will attach themselves to the target cell and kill it. But there is again no cell carcass. The crime scene is empty. The tumor cell has evaporated, its organic matter disappearing in the form of carbon dioxide, nitrogen gas and water. The white blood cell will use its chlorine molecules to synthesize chlorine dioxide. It is the same chlorine dioxide that was taken by the patients we talked about earlier, but the local concentrations are much higher.
C. S. Foote, T E. Goyne, R. I. Lehrer, "Assessment of chlorination by human neutrophils", Nature (1983), 301(5902): 715.
Wang, L., Bassiri, M., Najafi, R., Najafi, K., Yang, J., Khosrovi, B., Robson, M. C. (2007). Hypochlorous acid as a potential wound care agent: part I. Stabilized hypochlorous acid: a component of the inorganic armamentarium of innate immunity. Journal of burns and wounds, 6.
Immunotherapy is a way of delivering singlet dioxygen and chlorine dioxide to burn the tumor. We can possibly be more effective, less toxic and also much cheaper.
Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiationtherapy display some efficacy in the treatment of cancer. They target one of the key players of cancer namely oxygen and the excess electrons. But there are other ways to target these agents. These methods are certainly less toxic and probably more effective.