Immunotherapy in Nepal – when and why?

Immunotherapy are new generation cancer drugs that are now available in Nepal for cancer like lung cancer, melanoma etc. These drugs are in general less toxic and easier for patients compared to chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy are new generation of anti cancer medicines. Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab are injectable medicines that helps the body’s immune system fight cancer. They belongs to a class of drugs called immuotherapy or checkpoint inhibitors. Checkpoint inhibitors block proteins made by certain immune system cells (called T cells) and by some tumors. These proteins help keep the immune system from attacking other cells in the body. By blocking these proteins, nivolumab and pembrolizumab release the brakes on the immune system so it can fight cancer cells better. Now these new class of drugs are available for cancer patients in Nepal.

It is a checkpoint inhibitor, which means it blocks pathways that cancer cells use to prevent the immune system from attacking them.

Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab are drugs that works by helping the immune system attack cancer cells. It is a checkpoint inhibitor, which means it blocks pathways that cancer cells use to prevent the immune system from attacking them.

Immunotherapy is becoming an increasingly important way of treating cancer. It’s different from chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill abnormal cells directly. Immunotherapy encourages the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells.

Side effects of Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab are very less as compared to conventional chemotherapy drugs. The side effects include fever and chills, nausea and diarrhea, rash or itchiness, low blood pressure and skin problems (acne-like rash or redness). These side effects can usually be treated with other medicines if necessary.

Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab are being used in treating many other types of cancers including Skin Cancer (Melanoma), Urinary Bladder Cancer, Lung Cancer and Cancers of Intestine etc.

By unmasking the cancer cells, Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab allows the body’s own immune system to destroy them.

How do Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab work?

Interestingly, the immune system is normally responsible for protecting us from cancer and other diseases. However, cancer cells can evade the immune system by hiding. By unmasking the cancer cells, nivolumab allows the body’s own immune system to destroy them. Checkpoint inhibitors are a new class of cancer drugs that work by unmasking cancer cells.

Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab has been approved in many countries including the US, UK, India and Nepal.

In many countries, Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab have been approved as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma. See see complete list of immunotherapy drugs approved by FDA in USA .

These medicines that helps your body’s immune system fight cancer by blocking the action of PD-1. It is used to treat certain types of cancer, including melanoma and NSCLC.

Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab costs around Rs 8 lakh per cycle in India, but costs less in Nepal.

Cost of Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab is much cheaper as compared to India. They are given at various doses and the costs could be very less in Nepal. Talk to your doctor about the various dosing regimen and the cost of the treatment when you visit the hospital.

Patients in Nepal can access Immunotherapy like Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab at nearly half the price of India.

Particularly in the case of nivolumab, patients can access this treatment at nearly half the price of India. A single dose of nivolumab costs Rs 4 lakh per cycle in Nepal as compared to Rs 8 lakh per cycle in India. Similarly, a single dose of pembrolizumab would be available at a price tag of $5,000 at Apollo Hospital India, but can be accessed for approximately $3,000 in Kathmandu Cancer Center.

In addition to lower pricing for drugs and treatments commonly used for cancer care, patients also have an option to avail discounts on their medical expenses under the government’s cancer care subsidy provided to all cancer patients in Nepal.

Please find us on Facebook or email us at [email protected] to talk to us about Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab.