Immunotherapy uses the natural defenses of the body to fight cancer by stimulating the immune system which attack cancer cells. This therapy also give the patient laboratory-made immune system proteins.
The other name of immunotherapy is biologic therapy. This treatment is significant as it is regarded by many as one of the greatest medical advances in the field of cancer treatment in the past three decades. But this treatment is not beneficial for those cancer patients who have autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The findings of the new study were published in JAMA Oncology on June 4. Saad Khan, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and colleagues said that around one-fourth of lung cancer patients with autoimmune disease are not eligible to receive the latest immunotherapy treatments.
"A considerable proportion of patients diagnosed with lung cancer may also have autoimmune disease," the researchers wrote in their study.
"Although prior series have suggested that administering immune therapy to patients with autoimmune disease may be feasible, doing so conveys risk of disease exacerbation and requires careful monitoring," they added.