All posts by Nancy McCord

Transformative Impact of Immunotherapy Tops Cancer News

Diverse Hands Holding The Word Cancer
Immunotherapy brings breakthroughs to cancer treatment.

For decades, cancer has been the main focus of innumerable medical researchers. During 2016, immunotherapy for cancer was designated the top advance in the field for the second consecutive year.

The Rapid Rise of Immunotherapy Treatment

The announcement was made in Clinical Cancer Advances 2017, the 12th annual report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Dr. Daniel F. Hayes, president of ASCO, presented the report to Congress during a recent meeting to request continued funding for cancer research.

According to Dr. Hayes, immunotherapy was a “promising theoretical treatment” less than 10 years ago. In a relatively short span of time, it has become a “standard of care” that has positively affected thousands of patients.

“Immunotherapy 2.0”

Just how much progress has been made in immunotherapy for cancer? Since 2011, a total of 15 immune-targeted therapies have been approved. That success combined with continued improvements in identifying candidates and overcoming resistance mechanisms, led ASCO to dub it “Immunotherapy 2.0.”

Dr. Hayes also stressed the importance of federal funding in maintaining the momentum in cancer research. One prominent development that has made a significant impact is the Cancer Moonshot program. Former Vice President Joe Biden took up the cause after his son Beau’s death from brain cancer.

Issels®: Ahead of the Curve

While the rest of the medical community is embracing the value of immunotherapy for cancer, we have been in the forefront of successfully treating patients by boosting their own immune systems. Visit our website to learn more about cancer vaccines, NK cells and our other non-toxic, individually tailored programs.

 

Is There a Link Between Gut Bacteria and an Immunotherapy Response?

Questions on How Immunotherapy Will Work for You?
Questions on How Immunotherapy Will Work for You?

Could the path to fighting cancer go through your stomach? Researchers have found a surprising link between immunotherapy for cancer and the bacteria found in your gut.

The Varied Responses to Immunotherapy

While scientists had previously made the connection with mice, a team at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently made a breakthrough with the first study involving humans. The subjects included 233 patients with advanced melanoma.

A subset of 43 patients was on checkpoint inhibitors, one of the primary methods of immunotherapy for cancer. Out of this group, 30 responded to the treatment while 13 did not.

What made the difference? The researchers discovered that the 30 patients who responded had a wider variety of gut bacteria, particularly a specific type called Clostridiales, along with a higher concentration of the immune cells that fight cancer.

Strengthening the Immune System

According to Fred Ramsdell, vice president of research at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, it’s likely that exposure to a greater amount of bacteria during your lifetime results in a more robust immune system. Exactly why this happens is still a puzzle for now.

Experts are optimistic that this information will eventually be used to more effectively target patients who will respond to immunotherapy treatments. A clinical trial focusing on the microbiome is planned for later this year.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: The Issels® Approach

Our namesake, Dr. Josef M. Issels, pioneered non-toxic immunotherapy treatments and we carry on his legacy today. Contact us for more information about our individually tailored programs that are created to meet your individual needs.

Immunotherapy Trains Your Body to Fight Its Own Cancer

Immunotherapy Trains Your Body to Fight Its Own Cancer
Immunotherapy Trains Your Body to Fight Its Own Cancer

Your body’s immune system does an amazing job of protecting you from viruses, bacteria and other invaders. Tumor cells are able to avoid detection as foreign bodies, but immunotherapy for cancer is removing this advantage by boosting your body’s natural defenses.

How Cancer “Hijacks” the Immune System

When foreign cells invade your body, they carry proteins called antigens that trigger an immune response. Your system produces antibodies that bind with the antigens, which either neutralize the rogue cells on their own or alert T-cells to attack and destroy them.

While cancer cells also produce antigens, they manage to evade the normal process by hijacking the checkpoints that signal the immune system to attack. The cells remain undetected, allowing them to multiply as they continue to weaken the immune system.

Penetrating the Shield around Cancer Cells

Instead of using external treatments like radiation and chemotherapy to fight tumors, immunotherapy for cancer focuses on boosting the natural abilities of the immune system by “training” it to recognize and attack cancer cells. These methods include:

  • Drugs containing lab-made monoclonal antibodies that bind to cancer cell antigens and block the normal proteins that “disguise” them
  • Vaccines containing proteins that help the immune system recognize antigens on tumor cells

Issels®: A Personalized Approach

Immunotherapy for cancer has become a valuable alternative or supplement to traditional treatments, but each patient’s case is different. We use specialized testing to create an integrative treatment method that addresses your particular needs.

Contact us today to learn why Issels® has been a leader in the successful use of immunotherapy treatments.

New T Cell Tracking May Improve Immunotherapy Treatments

Another Step in Stopping Cancer
New T Cell Tracking May Improve Immunotherapy Treatments

T cells are in the front line of your immune system, multiplying rapidly to attack invading cells throughout your body. Immunotherapy for cancer took a big step forward with a study that found ways to track T cells in order to harness their specific tumor-fighting abilities.

Finding a Needle in a Haystack

Adoptive T cell transfer is a method of treatment in which T cells are harvested from a patient’s body and “groomed” to target cancer cells. They were then multiplied and placed back in the patient’s system where they could attack the tumor.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of roadblocks to this process. It’s difficult to know which of the thousands of different types of T cells are most effective against cancer, and cloning the cells can dilute or alter the tumor-killing properties of the originals.

Solving the Identification Problem

Researchers at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have discovered a process to help solve the former problem. A method called high throughput T cell receptor sequencing allowed the scientists to tag each T cell receptor with a “barcode,” enabling them to be tracked throughout the body.

The team gained valuable data when they applied the method to 10 patients with metastatic melanoma. Trials are now underway in search of more effective ways to extract and multiply T cells.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: Boosting Your Body’s Natural Defenses

For decades, Issels® has been a pioneer in the use of vaccines, NK cells and other non-toxic immunotherapy for cancer treatments. Visit our website to learn more about our individually tailored programs.

Dr. Josef M. Issels Predicted the Future of Immunotherapy

Dr. Josef M. Issels, Our Founder
Dr. Josef M. Issels, Our Founder

Over the last few years, immunotherapy for cancer has become increasingly embraced by the medical community. But it was more than 20 years ago when our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, predicted the future of immunotherapy as an integrative and interdisciplinary approach.

A Groundbreaking Approach to Cancer Treatment

In a practice that spanned more than 40 years, Dr. Issels conducted research involving patients in the end stages of cancer, most of whom had exhausted all traditional methods of treatment. Results led to his pioneering a “holistic concept” of fighting cancer.

While traditional treatments focused on cancer as a disease unto itself, Dr. Issels believed it was a symptom of a larger disease affecting the entire person, body and mind. In such cases, the immune system is unable to perform its usual duties of defending against chronic development of malignant cells.

The breakdown of normal immune system functions centers on T-cells including Natural Killer (NK) Cells, which have the job of detecting and identifying foreign substances that enter the body. Without this normal barrier, malignant cells are free to multiply and form tumors.

Immunotherapy: An Integrative Method

Dr. Issels’ approach went beyond destruction and removal of tumors to address the main underlying causes of malignant cell development and immune system suppression in order to achieve long-term tumor remissions.

Traditional methods such as radiation and chemotherapy merely focus on the cancer cells and tumors. When they become part of an integrative treatment, including non-toxic immunotherapy, they can achieve better results with fewer side effects.

State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®

Our highly personalized non-toxic immunotherapy programs include Cancer Vaccines, Natural Killer (NK) Cells, Lymphokine-Activated Killer (LAK) Cells and Cytokines.

Contact us today to learn more about why immunotherapy for cancer is one of the hottest topics in modern healthcare.

Highlighting Natural Killer Cell Activation through the Issels Immunotherapy Protocol

Worker in a lab
NK Cells and Immunotherapy for Cancer

Natural Killer (NK) cells may sound scary, but they play a valuable role in immunotherapy for cancer. Boosting NK cell levels helps the immune system mount a strong response in order to eliminate tumors.

How Natural Killer Cells Work

When cancer is diagnosed early, treatment has a good success rate. Cases of late-stage cancer are more difficult to treat because the tumor cells have often begun metastasizing throughout the body.

This is where NK cells come in. They fight tumors as well as metastasized cancer cells through production of proteins known as cytokines. In addition, NK cells are so-called because of their capacity to quickly attack foreign bodies without the activation of antibodies.

Another valuable benefit of NK cells is their function in mediating anti-tumor immunity. Studies have shown that mice with reduced levels of NK cells have lowered resistance to metastases and RMA tumor outgrowth.

The Effect of Immunotherapy on NK Cell Levels

An analysis of NK cell counts was done on 129 patients who had gone through the Issels® treatment program. The group of patients ranged across all four Stage classifications and a wide variety of types of tumors.

Each patient’s individual protocols included non-toxic treatments such as immune-stimulants, autohemotherapy, oxidative therapy, enzymatic therapy, phytotherapy, amino acids, detoxification strategies, dietary and life-style changes, as well as emotional support. After approximately three weeks, the group showed an average 48 percent increase in absolute NK cell levels per individual.

Issels®: A Trailblazer in Immunotherapy for Cancer

Our clinic was established to carry on the groundbreaking work of our founder, Dr. Josef M Issels, in the field of immunotherapy for cancer. Contact us for more information about cancer vaccines and other personally tailored treatment programs.