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What is the Immunotherapy cost in India?

Here you will find complete information about the cost of immunotherapy by types as well as consultation cost for hospitals that provide immunotherapy in India

By Vishal Bondre

Updated on 16th, Feb'22

The immunotherapy cost in India ranges from ₹1,50,000 ($2,091) - ₹4,55,000 ($6500) per session.

 

However, the costs can differ depending on various factors that play a major role in deciding the immunotherapy cost in India.

 

 

Immunotherapy cost in India is comparatively low and way more economical. Depending on the patient's conditions, numerous immunotherapy sessions occur per month or an interval (varies with patients). Along with several other factors, the hospital's location also impacts the cost of immunotherapy. For each session, the immunotherapy cost in Bangalore is between ₹1-1.5 lakh, which is determined by clinical terms. Similarly, immunotherapy costs in Mumbai may be on the higher side. 

 

 

The immunotherapy hospitals in India provided high-class treatment in quality and much lesser cost than any other developed country. Immunotherapy in India has been on a successful path for a long time, and it keeps on improving day by day.

 

Immunotherapy, like any complex cancer treatment, requires a specialized cancer department. However, by visiting some of the best cancer hospitals in India, one may get the greatest treatment without breaking the budget.

 

Before we discuss the actual immunotherapy cost, let's first look at all pre-treatment expenses.

 

Additional costs:

Immunotherapy costs in India certainly accompany other expenses. Before the treatment, the doctor will prescribe a few tests to know whether the person is healthy enough to receive immunotherapy.

 

These add to the cost of immunotherapy as well as the cost of cancer treatment in India.

 

For your reference, we have listed down all the costs you will incur in this treatment.

TestsDescription
Consultation feesThe consultation fees may vary from ₹1000 ($14) to ₹5000 ($71), depending on the fees of the medical oncologist in India.
Investigation testsBefore giving immunotherapy, certain tests are performed like urine tests, ECG (Electrocardiogram), CBC (complete blood count), etc., to know the patient's health condition and whether they are fit for immunotherapy or not. Their cost may range from ₹56,000 ($800) to ₹70,000 ($1000).
PDL1 testThis test measures the amount of the PDL1 on cancer cells. The cost of PDL1 varies from ₹15000 ($214) to ₹30,000 ($428).
Extra medications costAfter receiving immunotherapy, you may suffer from some side – effects. To minimize the side – effects, you may be given extra medications. This will add up to your cost of immunotherapy.

Here we have listed costs of Immunotherapy treatments in India by different prominent types of cancers:

 

1. Immunotherapy for bladder cancer

Immunotherapy is given for advanced bladder cancer as a first-line treatment who are ineligible for cisplatin chemotherapy.

 

Immunotherapy improves the outcome of bladder cancer and reduces the risk of recurrence of bladder cancer. Also, it improves the survival rate of the patient.

 

BCG is the first approved immunotherapy and stimulates the immune response, which targets the bacteria and bladder cancer cells nearby.

 

The drugs used in immunotherapy for bladder cancer are:

  1. Atezolizumab (Tecentriq)
  2. Durvalumab (Imfinzi)
  3. Nivolumab (Opdivo®)
  4. Pembrolizumab (keytruda)

The 5 – year survival rate for patient with bladder cancer in advanced stages 34% and in case of metastases, its 5%.

The cost of drugs of immunotherapy in India for bladder cancer is:

MedicineAmount
Atezolizumab (Tecentriq)Rs.1,98,000($2,759)
durvalumab (Imfinzi)Rs.1,38,000 ($ 3,328.18)
Nivolumab (Opdivo)₹99,291 ($1,383)
Pembrolizumab (keytruda)₹1,50,000 to 1,60,000($2091 to $2,230)


 

2. Immunotherapy for breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women. For a better success rate, you can find one of the top breast cancer doctors in India.

 

Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) is the first immunotherapy drug approved in India to treat triple-negative breast cancer.

 

Other immunotherapy drugs are currently under testing in breast cancer clinical trials, and some of them have shown excellent results.

 

The cost of drugs of immunotherapy in India for breast cancer are:

MedicineAmount
Atezolizumab (Tecentriq)Rs 1,98,000($2,759)

 

3. Immunotherapy for cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer seen in women in the world. Most of the cases of cervical cancer are associated with HPV (human papillomavirus) infection.

Preventive vaccines are given to prevent the infection by HPV that can cause cervical cancer.

The 5 – year survival rate for patients with cervical cancer in the advanced stage is 17%.

The cost of drugs of immunotherapy in India for cervical cancer are:

MedicineAmount
Pembrolizumab (keytruda)₹1,50,000 to 1,60,000($2091 to $2,230)

4. Immunotherapy for colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer refers to both colon cancer and rectal cancer.

 

Immunotherapy can be given in two types. Either a monoclonal antibody targets the EGFR pathway, or it can target the VEGF/ VEGFR2 pathway and prevents targets tumor blood vessel growth.

 

The 5 – year survival rate for patients with colorectal cancer in the advanced stage is 15%.

 

The cost of drugs of immunotherapy in India for colorectal cancer are:

MedicineAmount
Pembrolizumab (keytruda)₹1,50,000 to 1,60,000($2091 to $2,230)
Nivolumab (Opdivo)₹99,291 ($1,383)

 

5. Immunotherapy for Oesophageal cancer

The two main types of oesophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Immunotherapy for oesophageal cancer work in three ways:

  • A monoclonal antibody targets the VEGF/VEGFR2 pathway and restricts tumor blood vessel growth.
  • A monoclonal antibody targets the HER2 pathway.
  • An immune checkpoint inhibitor targets the PD – 1/PD – L1 pathway.

The 5 – year survival rate for patients with Oesophageal cancer in the advanced stage is 5%.

The cost of drugs of immunotherapy in India for oesophageal cancer are:

Targeted Antibodies
MedicineAmount
Ramucirumab (Cyramza)1,60,000to 2,00,000 ($2,230 to 2788)
Trastuzumab (Herceptin--
Immunomodulators
Pembrolizumab (keytruda)₹1,50,000 to 1,60,000($2091 to $2,230)

 

6. Immunotherapy for head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer include different types of cancer, including the mouth, throat, voice box, nose cavity, and salivary glands.

 

Immunotherapy for head and neck cancer can be given in two ways:

  • A monoclonal antibody targets the EGFR pathway
  • A checkpoint inhibitor targeting the P – 1/ PD – L1 pathway

The cost of drugs of immunotherapy in India for head and neck cancer are:

Targeted Antibodies
MedicineAmount
Cetuximab (Erbitux)₹1,01,000 ($1,408)
Immunomodulators
Nivolumab (Opdivo):₹99,291 ($1,383)
Pembrolizumab (keytruda)₹1,50,000 to 1,60,000($2091 to $2,230)

 

7. Immunotherapy for kidney cancer

Almost 9 out of 10 people suffering from kidney cancer have renal cell carcinomas, which are cancer formed in the lining of the tubules inside the kidney.

 

Immunotherapy is given in the form of immune-stimulating chemicals called cytokines for advanced cancer.

 

The 5 – year survival rate for patients with kidney cancer in the advanced stage is 5%.

 

The cost of drugs of immunotherapy in India for kidney cancer are:

MedicineAmount
Avelumab (Bavencio)₹86,860($1,223)
ipilimumab (Yervoy)--
Interleukin-2 (IL-2)₹42,958($605)
Interferon-alfa--


 

Factors affecting immunotherapy cost in India:

The immunotherapy cost in the top hospitals in India for cancer can be different for different patients. The following factors play a major role in deciding the cost of immunotherapy:

  • Metastasis of cancer: A crucial factor in deciding the immunotherapy cost in India is how far cancer has spread and what parts are affected by cancer. If cancer has not affected more body organs, then the cost of immunotherapy will be relatively lower.
  • Type of cancer: Immunotherapy is not the treatment option for all types of cancer. The cost of immunotherapy is different for different types of cancer. Depending on the type of cancer a patient has, immunotherapy type and drugs will be decided, thus affecting the cost of immunotherapy in India.
  • Health of the patient: Basically, immunotherapy is a treatment where your immune cells are treated so that they are made capable of fighting cancer. So, your actual health also plays a major role in deciding the cost of immunotherapy.
  • Duration of the treatment: The duration of the treatment is another important factor in deciding the cost of immunotherapy in India. It is dependent on the number of sessions you require. The duration is decided based on the following factors, mainly type, and grade of cancer.
  • Treatment plan: At times, you are not given immunotherapy alone. You may have undergone chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery initially, followed by immunotherapy, thereby increasing the total cost of the treatment.
  • Types of the drugs used: In immunotherapy, there are different types of drugs whose costs are also different. The doctor will decide the drugs which will be used for the treatment, and accordingly, it will affect the cost of immunotherapy.

 

Immunotherapy in India as compared to other developed countries:

CountriesCost (In Rupees)
India₹1,00,000- ₹4,30,000
United States₹1,22,44,500.00- ₹1,36,05,000
Canada₹53,31,830.00- ₹58,60,523.05
Germany₹8,24,951.46- ₹10,58,254.03

Immunotherapy cost in India is very low compared to the other countries like the US, UK, and Singapore.

 

The above graph shows a huge difference in the cost of immunotherapy in India and other countries.

 

Let us tell you why there is such a wide difference in the cost between the countries:

  • Indian currency: The major reason for this huge difference in immunotherapy cost in India is the currency. The Indian currency is quite low as compared to the dollar, euro, etc. Thus, the cost of the treatment is less as compared to other countries.
  • Living cost: The living cost in India is almost 65% lower than the other developed countries. Therefore, you can get all the facilities at a very low cost.
  • Competition: Well, India is a place where you have abundant choices of hospitals. All these hospitals offer a variety of medical treatments. So, therefore you can choose at your convenience from a wide range of cancer hospitals in India than other cancer hospitals in the world.

 

Success Rate of Immunotherapy in India

The success rate of immunotherapy in India has seen a tremendous increase. The five-year survival rate of immunotherapy has increased from 5.5% in 2012 to 28 % in 2019. While other cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc., cannot give this high survival rate at stage IV cancer, immunotherapy becomes one of the leading choices to get better results. Immunotherapy has successfully treated 15 types of cancers, including skin, lung, kidney, and bladder cancers, and the number is expanding.

 

In an article by The Hindu, Dr. Shripad Banavali, head of academics and professor of pediatric and medical oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital, said that immunotherapy is the most promising area in cancer right now.

 

 

 

 

FAQs

1.  What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses the body's own immune system to locate and eliminate cancer cells. Biologic treatment is another term for immunotherapy. Immunotherapy therapies can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Directly attack cancer cells.
  • For the immune system to respond to the illness, it must be stimulated (revved up).
  • Stop cancer from reappearing after therapy.

Immunotherapy can also help the immune system repair or recover itself. This allows the immune system to more easily destroy cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other body regions.

 

Many kinds of cancer can be treated using immunotherapy drugs, including leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, and melanoma. Almost all other forms of cancer are being examined in clinical trials using immunotherapy.

 

2. How quickly does immunotherapy work?

Furthermore, some individuals have a delayed response to immunotherapy, while others have a favorable response at first but then relapse when the disease develops resistance to the immunotherapy drugs. For all of these reasons, seeing a quantifiable response to immunotherapy might take weeks or months.

 

3. How can you tell whether immunotherapy is effective?

 

Regular check-ups with your cancer expert, blood tests, and other types of scans will be performed to see if cancer has responded to therapy. Because some patients have a delayed response, determining if immunotherapy has succeeded may take some time.

 

4. What are some of the risks of immunotherapy?

 

Immunotherapy can boost your immune system and make you feel like you have the flu, with fever, chills, and exhaustion. Swelling, weight gain from excess fluids, heart palpitations, a stuffy head, and diarrhea are possible side effects.

 

5. Is Immunotherapy Harmful to the Immune System?

 

These therapies aid the body's immunological responses against cancer cells, but they can also alter the immune system's function. As a result, patients who get immunotherapy may experience a weakened immune system and become infected.

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