International Manual of Oncology Practice

pp 933-953

An Overview of Treatment for Cervical Cancer with Emphasis on Immune Cell-Based Therapies

  • Samuel J. K. AbrahamAffiliated withThe Mary-Yoshio Translational Hexagon (MYTH), Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM)Faculty of Medicine, Yamanashi University Email author 
  • , Hiroshi TerunumaAffiliated withBiotherapy Institute of Japan
  • , Vidyasagar Devaprasad DedeepiyaAffiliated withThe Mary-Yoshio Translational Hexagon (MYTH), Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM)
  • , Sumana PremkumarAffiliated withChennai Meenakshi Multispeciality Hospital LimitedDr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital
  • , Senthilkumar PreethyAffiliated withThe Mary-Yoshio Translational Hexagon (MYTH), Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM)

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Cervical cancer, the third most common cancer in women worldwide, has an incidence of 80 % in the developing countries. Relatively, the women in developing nations are diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease due to disparities in screening programs and other socio-economic factors. Although surgery and/or chemo, radiotherapies are indicated for early stage cervical cancers, in the advanced stages, palliative management continues to be the mainstay approach. Recent approaches exploring targeted therapies that act on receptors, signalling pathways, molecules deserve a mention. Autologous immune-cell-based immunotherapies for cancer have been in clinical practice for more than three decades in countries like Japan for various solid tumors including cervical cancer. The cell based immunotherapies employ dendritic Cells, γδ T cells (gamma delta T cells) natural killer (NK) cells, NKT cells, activated T lymphocytes, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cells. NK cells are of particular interest due to their rapid response against cancer cells and virus-infected cells even without being sensitized to antigens to kill cells that are missing the “self” markers of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I. With human papilloma virus (HPV) being associated with virtually all the cases of cervical cancer, NK cell immunotherapy gathers more importance as it acts as a common weapon against the virus and cancer cells. With vaccination against HPV now being available, immunological considerations in cervical cancer gain significance and form a major arena for future research. This chapter will provide an overview on the existing treatment options for cervical cancer with special emphasis on the cell-based immunotherapies.