CAR T-Cells May Be an Effective Immunotherapy for Multiple Myeloma

Is Issels Genomic Testing for Personalized Treatment For You
Is Issels Genomic Testing for Personalized Treatment For You?

Researchers have been focusing on CAR T-cells as the basis for a promising immunotherapy cancer treatment. Recent trials show encouraging results for the use of CAR T-cells in fighting advanced multiple myeloma.

CAR T Cells: A New Approach in Cancer Treatment

Scientists are excited about CAR T-cell therapy because it uses a patient’s own immune cells to treat cancer. The cells are gathered from the patient’s blood, engineered to produce chimeric-antigen receptors (CARs), and multiplied in the lab to reach quantities in the billions.

At that point, the cells are reintroduced into the patient’s bloodstream, to where they attach themselves to specific targets on cancer cells. CAR T-cell products, currently awaiting FDA approval, target the CD19 antigen in leukemia and lymphoma.

Can CAR T-Cells Treat Different Cancers?

Two CAR T-cell trials were recently conducted in the United States and China. Results were presented last June at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

Both trials examined the use of CAR T-cells that target B-cell maturation antigens (BCMA), which are proteins found in myeloma cells. Most of the patients in the studies achieved positive results, with many experiencing complete remission.

CAR T-cell research is still in the early stages. Testing will continue to validate these findings and determine whether CAR T-cell therapy is a viable treatment method for cancer patients.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Immunotherapy

We have a history of successful use of vaccines, NK cells and other cancer treatment methods. Contact us to learn more about why Issels® is the leader in personally developed immunotherapy programs.

High Fat Diets Are Linked to Colon Cancer

High Fat Diets Are Linked to Colon Cancer
High Fat Diets Are Linked to Colon Cancer

Doctors regularly warn patients that obesity is linked to an increased risk of cancer. A study by researchers at MIT has shed some light on how high-fat diets can trigger colon cancer.

The Role of Stem Cells in Colon Cancer

Colon cancer arises from mutations that tend to accumulate among intestinal stem cells, which last a lifetime. Omer Yilmaz, an assistant professor of biology at MIT, led a team that set out to discover the process behind these cellular changes.

For nine months to a year, Yilmaz and his team fed healthy mice a diet composed of 60 percent fat. In addition to gaining up to 50 percent more body mass, these mice developed more intestinal tumors than those on a healthy diet.

Effects of High-Fat Diet on Intestinal Cells

Researchers observed significant changes in the intestinal stem cells of the mice:

  • The mice eating a high-fat diet had a higher number of intestinal stem cells. In addition, they were able to operate free of input from niche cells that normally regulate stem cell activity.
  • Progenitor cells, which are differentiated “daughters” of stem cells, began to take on characteristics of stem cells, including longer life span and ability to generate mini-intestines outside the body.

Yilmaz is hopeful that, with further investigation, this information will lead to identifying new methods of cancer treatment for obesity-related tumors.

The Issels® Difference: Non-Toxic, Personally Tailored Cancer Treatment

We use genomic and other specialized testing to make sure our cancer treatment is designed to meet your specific needs. Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines and other immunotherapy programs at Issels®.

Molecularly Targeted Therapy – Considered Exciting Cancer News

Molecular Targeted Therapy Hit the Bulls Eye!
Molecular Targeted Therapy Hit the Bulls Eye!

Traditional cancer treatments often attack both cancer and healthy cells, resulting in debilitating side effects such as fatigue and weight loss. Doctors are excited about a revolutionary cancer treatment that specifically targets cancer cells.

Cancer Treatment that “Hits the Bullseye”

As implied by the name, molecularly targeted therapy involves drugs designed at the molecular level of the cell to attack and destroy specific types of cancer. Glivec (or Gleevec), also known as STI571, is the pioneering drug in this promising new therapy.

These so-called “designer drugs” begin with the identification of an abnormal molecule unique to a particular type of cancer. Scientists can then create a drug that interferes with the function of that molecule.

Glivec: Targeting Leukemia

Glivec has been found to be effective against chronic myeloid leukemia, also known as CML. Dr. Brian Druker, who led the research on Glivec, discovered that scientists have previously used STI571 to treat a rare gastrointestinal cancer that shares an enzyme related to one in CML.

Dr. Druker, who also serves as director of the leukemia program at the Oregon Health Sciences University, believes that STI571 can lead the way in finding the abnormalities in other types of cancer so they can also be treated with molecularly targeted therapy.

FDA approval of Glivec was fast-tracked and the drug is now available from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Immunotherapy: Non-Toxic State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment

Glivec and other new drugs have the medical community abuzz, but Issels® has experienced decades of success with our personally developed immunotherapy treatments. Visit our website to read and hear testimonials from patients of all ages with all types of cancer.

Tips for Lowering Your Stress Levels While in Cancer Treatment

Taking a Deep Breath and Seeking Help Can Really Help Take Stress Down a Notch.
Taking a Deep Breath and Seeking Help Can Really Help Take Stress Down a Notch.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, stress relief is more important than ever for your quality of life. A recent study found that relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation actually produce molecular changes that counteract depression.

The Immune System in Overdrive

When stress triggers the familiar “fight-or-flight” reaction, it also boosts production of a molecule called NF-kB. This molecule in turn stimulates genes to produce cytokines, which are proteins that cause inflammation as part of the immune system response.

In the short term, this process is helpful in battling infections and other common ailments. Problems arise when the pro-inflammatory gene expression is chronic, leading to higher cancer risk along with accelerated aging and mental disorders such as depression.

Exploring the Mind-Body Connection

The study from the Universities of Coventry and Radboud, published in Frontiers in Immunology, examined gene behavior in 846 participants over a span of 11 years. Principle focus was the effect of mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as yoga, tai chi and meditation.

Results showed that regular practice of MBIs caused reduced production of NF-kB and cytokines. This decrease reversed the pro-inflammatory gene expression pattern, with a corresponding reduction in the risk of inflammation-related conditions.

According to lead researcher Ivana Buric, the process leaves a “molecular signature” that reverses the effects of stress and anxiety. MBIs can change the genetic code to follow a path toward health and well-being.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: A Personalized Approach

No two cases of cancer are the same. Contact us to learn how Issels® uses individually developed immunotherapy for cancer programs to help patients of all ages and all forms of cancer.

The Connection Between Tumors and Blood Vessels

Stop Cancer
Stop Cancer

The medical community has long believed that cancer cells support their growth by generating blood vessels. A recent study suggests that blood vessels may actually begin the cycle of tumor development.

“Hijacking” Blood Vessels for Tumor Development

According to cancer biologist Dr. Lan Ko, one of the authors of the study, the team found evidence that blood vessels can create tumors. In turn, the cancer cells then produce blood vessels to further sustain their growth.

Researchers focused on GT198, a gene generally found in low levels within the body. It has a natural ability to repair DNA and regulate stem cells, but in mutated form it creates cancer cells.

Pericytes, found in the outer layer of blood vessels, resemble stem cells in the way they can form different types of tissue. During the study, researchers found abnormally high levels of GT198 in pericytes supporting a number of human tumors.

Even more surprising was that the GT198 was located in the pericytes’ cytoplasm instead of the nucleus. This enabled malignant pericytes to multiply into cancer cells and detach from blood vessels to promote spread of the tumors.

Application for Cancer Treatment

As Dr. Ko explained, these results indicate that GT198 is a viable target for immunotherapy for cancer treatments. Further testing will explore use of existing cancer drugs and development of new ones.

Issels® Leads the Way in Immunotherapy for Cancer

While immunotherapy for cancer has become a hot topic among scientists, Issels® has been successfully using our integrative, non-toxic treatments for decades. Contact us for more information about cancer vaccines and our other individually tailored programs.

New Guidance on Lymph Node Removal for Melanoma Patients

New Guidance on Lymph Node Surgery
New Guidance on Lymph Node Surgery

Aggressive surgery has often been the preferred approach for patients in whom melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes. Results of a recent trial suggest that a conservative treatment of watchful waiting may actually be more beneficial.

Is Completion Surgery Necessary?

Once a patient is diagnosed with melanoma, the traditional procedure has been to conduct a sentinel lymph node biopsy. If cancer cells are detected, the next step is usually immediate removal of the remaining regional lymph nodes in the surrounding area.

Surgery vs. Watchful Waiting

MSLT-II involved 1,934 participants who had been diagnosed with skin melanoma of medium thickness that had spread to sentinel lymph nodes but nowhere else in the body. Half underwent immediate lymph node removal surgery while the other half were monitored for signs of cancer in the regional lymph nodes.

After three years, 86 percent of patients in each group had not succumbed to melanoma. In addition, 68 percent of the surgery group and 63 percent of the monitored group had not experienced any recurrence of cancer.

Greater Risk of Complications

While difference in recurrence rate was negligible, the surgery group was found to be far more susceptible to complications. Those patients were approximately four times more likely to experience lymphedema, which is a buildup of excess lymph fluid that causes swelling.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: State-of-the-Art Treatment

We have successfully treated patients with melanoma and other forms of cancer in both early and late stages. Contact us to learn more about Issels® and our individually developed, non-toxic immunotherapy for cancer programs.