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Cell-Based Therapies: Pioneering Cervical Cancer Treatment in India

04 Dec, 2023

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Cell-based therapies are revolutionizing the treatment of cervical cancer in India, marking a significant advancement in the battle against this prevalent disease. Leveraging the latest developments in cellular biology, these therapies offer a targeted approach to cancer treatment, distinguishing themselves from traditional methods by their precision and personalization. This pioneering medical innovation not only promises enhanced efficacy in combating cervical cancer but also underscores India's commitment to adopting cutting-edge health solutions, paving the way for a new era in cancer care.


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Conventional Treatment Challenges

Conventional treatment options for cervical cancer often involve surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy to target cancer cells, and chemotherapy to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. While these treatments can be effective, they are associated with various challenges:

1. Side Effects: Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can lead to significant side effects, including pain, fatigue, nausea, and damage to healthy tissues.

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2. Limited Efficacy: Advanced-stage cervical cancer can be challenging to treat, and traditional therapies may not always yield successful outcomes.

3. Recurrence: Cervical cancer can recur after conventional treatment, necessitating further interventions and causing emotional distress to patients.


The Promise of Cell-Based Therapies

Cell-based therapies offer new hope for cervical cancer patients in India. These therapies harness the power of the patient's immune system or use specialized cells to target and destroy cancer cells. Some promising cell-based therapies include:

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1. Immunotherapy:

  • Immunotherapy is a cutting-edge approach that harnesses the patient's immune system to fight cancer. It involves using various agents to stimulate the immune system's response against cancer cells.
  • Cervical cancer can evade the immune system, but immunotherapies like checkpoint inhibitors (e.g., pembrolizumab) block the mechanisms that allow cancer cells to hide from immune surveillance. Therapeutic vaccines aim to enhance the immune response against specific tumor antigens.
  • Immunotherapy may be considered for advanced cervical cancer that has not responded to standard treatments or has recurred.

Procedure for Immunotherapy in Cervical Cancer in India :

1. Patient Assessment: Patients with cervical cancer undergo a thorough evaluation, considering their overall health, cancer stage, and previous treatment responses. Immunotherapy is typically considered for advanced or recurrent cases.

2. Agent Selection: Healthcare providers choose appropriate immunotherapeutic agents based on the patient's unique profile and cancer characteristics. Commonly used agents include checkpoint inhibitors like pembrolizumab and nivolumab.

3. Administration: Immunotherapy can be administered via intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection. Intravenous infusion delivers the immunotherapeutic agent slowly into the bloodstream, while subcutaneous injection places it just beneath the skin. The choice of administration method depends on the specific drug and the patient's condition.

4. Treatment Schedule: The treatment schedule varies depending on the patient's response and the selected immunotherapeutic agent. Some patients receive immunotherapy as a standalone treatment, while others may combine it with chemotherapy or radiation.

5. Monitoring: Patients are closely monitored throughout and after immunotherapy sessions. This monitoring includes regular assessments of overall health, tumor response, and potential side effects. Treatment plans may be adjusted based on the patient's progress.

Immunotherapy in cervical cancer follows a structured procedure designed to maximize its effectiveness while minimizing side effects.

  • Benefits: Immunotherapy can lead to durable responses, fewer side effects compared to chemotherapy, and the potential for long-term cancer control.

2. CAR-T Cell Therapy (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell Therapy):

  • CAR-T cell therapy involves genetically modifying a patient's own T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that target specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells.
  • CAR-T therapy has demonstrated remarkable success in treating blood cancers by directing T cells to attack cancer cells with precision.
  • Clinical trials are exploring CAR-T therapy for solid tumors like cervical cancer, but it is not yet a standard treatment.

CAR-T Cell Therapy Procedure for Cervical Cancer in India:

1. T Cell Collection: The procedure commences with the collection of the patient's T cells from their blood through leukapheresis. In India, healthcare facilities equipped with advanced technologies ensure the efficient isolation of these crucial immune cells.

2. Genetic Engineering: The patient's T cells are then transported to a specialized laboratory in India, where they undergo genetic modification to express Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) molecules. These CARs are tailored to target specific surface proteins found on cervical cancer cells.

3. CAR-T Cell Expansion: In India, cutting-edge laboratory facilities enable the expansion of the genetically modified CAR-T cells, ensuring a sufficient quantity for treatment.

4. Quality Control: Stringent quality control measures are implemented in Indian laboratories to verify the safety and effectiveness of the engineered CAR-T cells, including confirming CAR expression and ensuring contamination-free samples.

5. Patient-Specific Treatment: India's healthcare professionals tailor the CAR-T cell therapy to each patient's unique needs, potentially incorporating preparatory treatments like lymphodepletion to optimize CAR-T cell efficacy.

6. CAR-T Cell Infusion: The patient receives the engineered CAR-T cells via intravenous infusion, conducted within Indian hospital facilities where they can receive continuous monitoring during and after the procedure.

7. Monitoring and Follow-Up: In India, post-treatment monitoring is thorough, with healthcare teams closely observing patients for potential side effects and treatment effectiveness. This includes vigilance for conditions like cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurological toxicity, allowing for prompt intervention if needed.

India's healthcare infrastructure is at the forefront of delivering cutting-edge CAR-T cell therapy for cervical cancer patients. By combining advanced laboratory techniques with meticulous patient care and monitoring, India contributes to the global effort to enhance treatment options for cervical cancer and improve outcomes for affected individuals

  • Benefits: CAR-T therapy offers the potential for highly targeted and potent anti-cancer effects, especially in cases where other treatments have failed.

3. Stem Cell Therapy:

  • Stem cell therapy utilizes the unique properties of stem cells, such as their ability to differentiate into various cell types, for therapeutic purposes.
  • Researchers are exploring stem cell therapy to repair damaged cervical tissue and as carriers for targeted drug delivery, potentially reducing side effects and improving treatment outcomes.
  • Stem cell therapy is still in experimental stages for cervical cancer and is not yet widely available.

Stem Cell Therapy Procedure in Cervical Cancer in India :

1. Source Selection: The stem cell therapy procedure begins with the selection of an appropriate source for obtaining stem cells. In the context of cervical cancer treatment, these versatile cells can be sourced from various locations, including bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), or umbilical cord blood. The choice of source depends on factors like the patient's condition, availability, and the type of stem cells needed.

2. Collection: Stem cells are collected from the chosen source through minimally invasive procedures. For bone marrow-derived stem cells, a specialized needle is used to extract a sample from the patient's hipbone. Adipose-derived stem cells are obtained through liposuction, where a small amount of fat tissue is removed. Alternatively, umbilical cord blood stem cells are collected from umbilical cord blood after childbirth, often stored in a cord blood bank for future use.

3. Processing: Once collected, the stem cells are processed in a laboratory setting. This processing involves isolating and purifying the stem cells to ensure they are suitable for therapeutic use. Additionally, the cells may be subjected to specific treatments or genetic modifications to enhance their therapeutic potential.

4. Administration: The processed stem cells are then administered to the cervical cancer patient. The method of administration can be local or systemic, depending on the treatment strategy. Local administration involves directly injecting or implanting the stem cells into the affected area, such as the cervix. Systemic administration entails infusing the stem cells into the patient's bloodstream, allowing them to circulate throughout the body to target cancer cells.

5. Monitoring and Follow-Up: After stem cell therapy, patients undergo regular monitoring and follow-up assessments to track their progress. This includes evaluating the response to treatment, potential side effects, and the overall impact on the cervical cancer.

Stem cell therapy offers a promising approach in cervical cancer treatment by utilizing the regenerative and immunomodulatory properties of stem cells. The flexibility in stem cell source selection and the potential to enhance their therapeutic abilities through laboratory processing make this a dynamic field of research and treatment, contributing to innovative solutions in cervical cancer care.

  • Benefits: Stem cell therapy holds promise for tissue regeneration and minimizing collateral damage to healthy tissue during treatment.

4. Targeted Therapies (Precision Medicine):

  • Targeted therapies involve identifying specific genetic or molecular abnormalities in a patient's cancer and tailoring treatments to target these abnormalities.
  • Precision medicine allows for more effective treatment by specifically targeting the mechanisms driving cancer growth.
  • Targeted therapies are increasingly integrated into cervical cancer treatment, particularly for advanced or recurrent cases.


Targeted Therapy Procedure for Cervical Cancer in India:

1. Genetic/Molecular Profiling: The procedure commences with a comprehensive genetic or molecular profiling of the patient's cervical tumor. In India, advanced molecular diagnostic techniques are employed to identify specific genetic mutations, molecular abnormalities, or biomarkers associated with the cancer.

2. Data Analysis: Skilled oncologists and molecular pathologists in India analyze the profiling data to pinpoint the precise genetic or molecular alterations driving the growth and progression of the cervical cancer.

3. Treatment Selection: Based on the profiling results, healthcare professionals in India select targeted drugs or therapies that are tailored to address the identified genetic or molecular abnormalities. These drugs are designed to interfere with the specific pathways or molecules responsible for cancer growth.

4. Treatment Initiation: Once the targeted therapy is chosen, patients in India begin their treatment regimen. Targeted drugs may be administered orally in the form of pills or intravenously through infusions, depending on the specific drug and treatment plan.

5. Regular Monitoring: Patients receiving targeted therapy undergo regular monitoring and follow-up assessments to evaluate the treatment's effectiveness and monitor for any potential side effects. In India, healthcare teams employ state-of-the-art imaging techniques and laboratory tests to track the tumor's response.

6. Treatment Adjustments: Based on ongoing assessments and patient responses, adjustments to the targeted therapy plan may be made as necessary. This may involve modifying the drug dosage or switching to alternative targeted therapies to optimize outcomes.

7. Supportive Care: Alongside targeted therapy, patients in India receive comprehensive supportive care that may include pain management, nutritional support, and psychosocial assistance to improve their overall well-being.

India's healthcare system emphasizes personalized medicine through genetic and molecular profiling, allowing patients to receive targeted therapies tailored to their specific cervical cancer characteristics. This approach enhances treatment precision and efficacy, potentially leading to better outcomes and improved quality of life for cervical cancer patients in India.

  • Benefits: Targeted therapies can lead to better outcomes, with fewer side effects compared to traditional chemotherapy, as they spare healthy cell

Leading hospitals in India for Cervical cancer treatment

1. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi

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  • Location: Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Sarita Vihar, Delhi-mathura Road, New Delhi - 110076. India.
  • Established Year:1996


Hospital Overview:

  • Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, is a multi-specialty tertiary acute care hospital with 710 beds and is considered one of the most sought-after destinations in Asia for healthcare.
  • It is a state-of-the-art modern facility located in the heart of the capital, spread over 15 acres with a built-up area of over 600,000 square feet.
  • Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, is a flagship hospital of the Apollo Hospitals Group, known for its commitment to clinical excellence and providing the best clinical outcomes for patients.
  • The hospital is equipped with the latest and Best-in-Class medical technologies, including PET-MR, PET-CT, Da Vinci Robotic Surgery System, BrainLab Navigation System, Portable CT Scanner, NovalisTx, Tilting MRI, Cobalt-based HDR Brachytherapy, DSA Lab, Hyperbaric Chamber, Fibroscan, Endosonography, 3 Tesla MRI, and a 128 Slice CT scanner to provide world-class care.
  • In 2005, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals became the first hospital in India to be JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited, demonstrating standardized processes.
  • It also achieved reaccreditation in 2008 and 2011 and has NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited clinical laboratories and a state-of-the-art blood bank.

2. Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon

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  • Location: Sector 51, Gurugram, Haryana 122001, India.
  • Established Year: 2007

Hospital Overview :

  • Artemis Hospital, established in 2007, is a state-of-the-art multi-specialty hospital located in Gurgaon, India, spread across 9 acres.
  • It is a 400 plus bed hospital and is the first JCI (Joint Commission International) and NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers) accredited hospital in Gurgaon.
  • Designed to be one of the most advanced hospitals in India, Artemis offers a wide range of advanced medical and surgical interventions along with a comprehensive mix of inpatient and outpatient services.
  • The hospital employs modern technology and follows research-oriented medical practices and procedures benchmarked against global standards.
  • Artemis Hospital is known for its top-notch services, warm and patient-centric environment, and affordability.
  • In 2011, it received the 'Asia Pacific Hand Hygiene Excellence Award' from WHO (World Health Organization).
  • The hospital excels in various medical specialties including cardiology, CTVS (Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery) Surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, Neuro interventional, oncology, Surgical Oncology, orthopedics, Spine Surgery, Organ Transplants, General Surgery, emergency care, Women & child care, and more.

3. Aster Medcity, Kochi


  • Location: Kuttisahib Rd, South Chittoor, Ernakulam, Kerala 682027, India
  • Established Year - 2013

Hospital Overview:

  • Aster Medcity is a 670-bed quaternary care facility in Kochi, Kerala, India.
  • Centers of Excellence: The hospital specializes in several medical specialties, including:
  • Approach: Aster Medcity combines talent and technology to provide holistic treatment with a multidisciplinary approach.
  • Accreditations: The hospital has been accredited by JCI and NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers). It has also received NABH certification for Nursing Excellence and Green OT Certification.
  • Robotic Surgery: The Aster Minimal Access Robotic Surgery (MARS) program has successfully performed over 1200 robotic-assisted surgeries.
  • Clinical Programs: Notable clinical programs include Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PMR), Bone Marrow Transplant, Liver Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Parkinson and Movement Disorders treatment including Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Spine Surgery, Epilepsy Surgery, and Cardiac Electrophysiology.
  • ECMO Facilities: The hospital offers full-fledged Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) facilities for critically ill patients.
  • Aster Medcity specializes in a wide spectrum of medical specialties, including Cardiac Sciences, Oncology, Neurosciences, Organ Transplantation, and more, offering comprehensive healthcare services.

4. Apollo Hospitals, Greams Road, Chennai


Hospital Banner

  • Location: 21 Greams Lane, Off, Greams Road, Thousand Lights, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600006, India
  • Established Year - 1983

Hospital Overview:

  • Apollo Hospitals, established in 1983 by Dr. Prathap C Reddy, is credited with pioneering the private healthcare revolution in India.
  • Integrated Healthcare Services: The hospital is Asia's leading integrated healthcare services provider with a presence across the healthcare ecosystem, including Hospitals, Pharmacies, Primary Care & Diagnostic Clinics.
  • Telemedicine and More: The Apollo Group operates Telemedicine units in 10 countries, offers Health Insurance Services, provides Global Projects Consultancy, runs Medical Colleges and Med-varsity for E-Learning, and operates Colleges of Nursing and Hospital Management.
  • Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery: Apollo Hospitals has around 14 world-class institutes, over 400 cardiologists & cardiac surgeons, and 200 heart stations.
  • Robotic Spinal Surgery: The hospital is among the few centers in Asia to perform Robotic Spinal Surgery.
  • Cancer Care: A 300-bedded, NABH accredited hospital with advanced technology for diagnosis and radiation, renowned specialists, and a skilled team of medical and paramedical professionals.
  • Endoscopic Procedures: Offering the latest Endoscopic procedures for Gastrointestinal conditions.
  • Transplant Institutes: The Apollo Transplant Institutes (ATI) are one of the largest and comprehensive solid transplant programs globally.
  • Advanced Technology: The hospital features a 320 slice CT scanner, a state-of-the-art Liver Intensive Care Unit & Operation Theatre, and various surgical tools for safe & bloodless liver surgery.
  • Corporate Health Care: Apollo Hospitals is a key player in the corporate healthcare sector. Over 500 leading corporates, across all industries, have partnered with Apollo Hospitals.
  • Accessible Healthcare: The corporate services initiative aims to provide world-standard healthcare accessible to every individual with over 64 locations in India.

Find out more hospitals and doctors!! Neuro / Spine Hospital in India | India's Top Neuro / Spine Hospitals | HealthTrip

Cell-based therapies, including immunotherapy, CAR-T cell therapy, stem cell therapy, and targeted therapies, offer exciting prospects for improving the treatment of cervical cancer. While some are still in the experimental stages or undergoing clinical trials, their potential to provide more effective, less toxic, and personalized treatment options is a beacon of hope for cervical cancer patients in India and beyond. However, it's essential to emphasize that these therapies should be administered under the guidance of healthcare professionals and as part of a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to each patient's unique circumstances.

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CAR-T cell therapy involves genetically modifying a patient's T cells to target specific proteins on cancer cells. It is considered for certain cases of cervical cancer in India, especially in clinical trials or experimental settings.