Oncolysis is the treatment and management of cancer, typically through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and other methods being discovered every day. Each type of cancer, each patient, each location may call for a different treatment combination.
Ideally, oncolysis results in the complete elimination of the cancer with minimal or no damage to the rest of the body. Because cancers typically invade neighboring tissues and sometimes metastasize, or spread microscopic “seeds” throughout the body, it is often difficult to remove cancers through surgery alone. Chemotherapy and radiation are often toxic to both the cancer and the body.
“Magic bullets”, or tailored chemicals and organic cocktails, can target cancers more directly, but each must be developed individually for each cancer, making them expensive and hard to produce. Immunizations for some cancers have also been developed. However, because each cancer has a different genesis, behavior, and even genetic makeup, there will probably never be a single cure for all cancers.
Only if a cancer is removed entirely from the body can it be considered cured. Because of the chances of metastasizing, this is often impossible through surgery alone. A single cancer cell can develop into an entire new tumor, or metastasize to different parts of the body.
If a cancer is deemed incurable, palliative care including surgery or chemotherapy may be undertaken to reduce symptoms such as pressure to the bowel or spinal cord.
Web Resources On Oncolysis
Viral Oncolysis and Antiangiogenesis
Reovirus oncolysis of human breast cancer
Book Resources On Oncolysis
Immunological aspects of viral oncolysis by Jean Lindenmann
Cancer Treatment by Charles M. Haskell