Category Archives: Alternative Cancer Treatment

Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage

Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage
Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage

Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, has a survival rate of up to 95 percent that is reduced nearly in half by late diagnosis. An experimental blood test for melanoma showing high degrees of accuracy could make it easier for patients to receive timely cancer treatment.

Finding Clues in the Bloodstream

Antibodies are produced by the body’s immune system to attack foreign substances, including cancer cells. A research team at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia conducted a study using blood samples to identify particular antibodies created in the immune response to melanoma.

The 245 test subjects included both melanoma patients and healthy volunteers. After the team identified a combination of 10 antibodies specific to the presence of melanoma, they were able to detect melanoma patients with 79 percent accuracy and healthy participants with 84 percent accuracy.

Progress in Early Cancer Detection

Professor Mel Ziman, leader of the project, said the team is proceeding on a trial with 1,000 participants to get the accuracy rate up to the required 90 percent level. Ziman projects that with a successful outcome, the test could be commercially available within five years.

While early detection makes a vital difference in successful melanoma treatment, current testing methods are costly and invasive. Scientists around the world are also making progress on blood tests to identify several types of cancer, including ovarian, lung and esophagus.

Better Testing = More Effective Cancer Treatment

Issels® uses extensive standard and genomic testing to determine the specific course of cancer treatment best suited for each patient. Visit our website for more information about our state-of-the-art diagnostic methods.

New Research Using a Molecule to Target Proteins that Grow Cancer Tumors

New Research Using a Molecule to Target Proteins that Grow Cancer Tumors
New Research Using a Molecule to Target Proteins that Grow Cancer Tumors

One of the benefits of immunotherapy for cancer is that it doesn’t carry the same debilitating side effects as more traditional treatments. Researchers in Australia made a significant breakthrough in the field with its work on “designer molecules” that inhibit growth of cancer cells.

Stopping Cancer at “Ground Zero”

The study, conducted by a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Adelaide, involved a protein called proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). PCNA’s donut-like shape lets DNA slide through its center, where it is then replicated.

As explained by project leader Dr. John Bruning, while PCNA is required for DNA replication, it’s overexpressed in 90 percent of all cancers. The team set out to find a way to target PCNA, thereby preventing cancer cells from multiplying.

Creating a Barrier to Cancer Cell Proliferation

Bruning’s team successfully created a drug-like molecule using a protein that naturally interacts with PCNA. They were also able to change the chemistry to keep it from degrading as it does in its natural form.

PCNA rarely mutates, making it less likely to develop resistance against the “designer molecule,” which has demonstrated greater effectiveness than previous forms of PCNA inhibitors with less chance of side effects.

According to Bruning, the use of a natural protein in the creation of the molecule allows for more precise targeting of PCNA. Bruning is hopeful that his team’s work will usher in the development of a whole new class of drugs.

Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®: Using the Body’s Own Resources

Our immunotherapy for cancer programs boost the ability of the body’s immune system to fight tumors. Visit our website to learn more.

Innovative Research Aims to Snatch Cancer Cells by Magnetism and Nanoparticles

Innovative Research Aims to Snatch Cancer Cells by Magnetism and Nanoparticles
Innovative Research Aims to Snatch Cancer Cells by Magnetism and Nanoparticles

The more precise diagnostic methods are, the more effective immunotherapy for cancer can be. In a case of “opposites attract,” scientists recently took a giant step toward improved diagnostics with the principles of magnetism.

Putting a “Charge” in Cancer Cells

Liquid biopsy is a cancer screening technique in which blood is drawn from a patient and tested for circulating tumor cells, or CTCs. Unfortunately, CTCs are so few and far between that the blood sample may be completely free of them, resulting in a false diagnosis.

In a study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, a team of researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine tested a group of pigs with CTCs in their bloodstream.

– The CTCs were first tagged with a nanoparticle containing magnetic properties.

– In the next step, a small wire was inserted near the pig’s ear in a vein that is comparable to the ones in a human arm.

– As the tagged tumor cells drifted by, the magnetic pull caused them to stick to the wire, which was then removed from the vein.

What’s Next?

Not only did the magnetic method detect 10 to 80 times more CTCs than a typical liquid biopsy, it found 500 to 5,000 more tumor cells than an earlier wire-based model. Dr. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir of Stanford expressed hope that the wire device could have applications for cancer treatment as well as diagnosis.

Thorough and Non-Invasive Diagnostic Procedures at Issels®

Our extensive diagnostic procedures let us create a personalized immunotherapy for cancer program that incorporates a number of complementary methods to treat the tumor along with its environment. Contact us for more information.

Gas Embolotherapy Combined with Ultrasound May Block Cancer Tumor’s Blood Supply

New Cancer Treatments Are Being Studied Worldwide
New Cancer Treatments Are Being Studied Worldwide

Scientists are constantly searching for methods of cancer treatment that will kill tumor cells without affecting healthy tissue, thereby avoiding common side effects. A research team recently found that bubbles may be a surprising vehicle for starving tumors and delivering anti-cancer drugs.

“Starving” Cancer Cells

Tumor cells rely on a steady blood supply to furnish oxygen and nutrients required to multiply and spread to other parts of the body. In its absence, tumors use a process called angiogenesis to create new blood vessels.

Scientists had previously created a class of drugs known as angiogenesis inhibitors, which effectively halt blood vessel development. Embolization is an alternate method that incorporates drugs or nano-sized beads to block blood vessels.

A Non-Surgical Option to Defeat Cancer?

Gas embolization is a variation in which bubbles are used to create a blockage. Prof. Yi Feng and a team of scientists at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China conducted a study using blood vessel-rich intestinal tissue from rats.

In the first step, droplets of dodecafluoropentane, a fluorocarbon often used for conversion to gas microbubbles, were injected into the blood vessels. An ultrasound was then applied in a technique known as acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV).

As a result, the droplets formed bubbles that congregated in an area, with some of them uniting to create larger bubbles, effectively blocking the blood vessels. The team is hopeful that gas embolotherapy may eventually be used as a “double punch” attack on cancer.

Immunotherapy: Individually Created Cancer Treatment

For years, Issels® has helped patients with our non-toxic cancer treatment programs that boost the body’s own immune system. Visit our website for more information.

Personalized Immunotherapy: The Future for Cancer Treatment One Story

Immunotherapy is Changing Cancer Treatment Again in Exciting New Ways
Immunotherapy is Changing Cancer Treatment Again in Exciting New Ways

At Issels®, we recognize that successful cancer treatment is designed for a patient’s individual needs. This immunotherapy approach recently saved the life of one woman whose recurring breast cancer was spreading to other parts of her body.

“Two to Three Months to Live”

In 2003, Judy Perkins of Port St. Lucie, Florida underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Just over two years ago the cancer returned, resulting in tennis-ball-sized tumors throughout her torso, including the lymph nodes.

This time around, Perkins was treated by Dr. Steven Rosenberg and his team at the National Cancer Institute. Rosenberg’s career has been devoted to the field of immuno-oncology, which involves finding ways to help the body’s own immune system attack and destroy cancer cells.

Weaponizing the Immune System

Rosenberg and his team began by obtaining samples of the tumors to sequence DNA and analyze tumor-fighting immune cells called lymphocytes. The scientists were then able to identify the specific gene mutations that allowed cancer cells to multiply and spread.

After determining which lymphocytes were most effective against the mutations, the team grew those cells in the lab and re-introduced them to Perkins’ system. In addition to doses of interleukin 2 and an immunotherapy drug approved by the FDA in 2017, Perkins received one last round of chemotherapy.

All tumors disappeared, and Perkins remains cancer-free today. Rosenberg is optimistic that this success will propel immunotherapy research to more breakthroughs.

Personalized, Integrative Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Many patients with advanced and therapy-resistant cancers have achieved long-term remission through our cancer treatment programs. Contact us to learn more.

Genetic Testing Identifies Best Immunotherapy Prospects for Prostate Cancer Patients

New Treatments for Prostate Cancer
New Treatments for Prostate Cancer

While immunotherapy has proven to be a viable form of cancer treatment, not all patients respond to the currently available methods. A major breakthrough occurred this summer, when scientists found that genetic testing could identify prostate cancer patients who are likely candidates for immunotherapy.

Treating Prostate Cancer with Immunotherapy

Last June, a major clinical trial provided the first evidence that advanced prostate cancer could be successfully treated with an immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab. Approximately ten percent of patients responded, so the question became how to determine which patients to treat.

A possible answer came in the form of a study recently published in Cell. Scientists from London’s Institute of Cancer Research and the University of Michigan joined forces to analyze tumor DNA collected from 360 men with advanced prostate cancer in various countries.

Is Genetic Testing the Solution?

Results indicated that seven percent of the tumors lacked a gene called CDK12. This feature is a hallmark of a unique genetic pattern that contains a greater amount of immune cells than other types of advanced prostate cancer.

In addition, these tumors had more neoantigens, which are proteins that alert the immune system to the presence of cancer cells. Thanks to the higher numbers of immune cells and neoantigens, the immune system already begins to recognize the tumor, which is why scientists think such tumors are more receptive to immunotherapy.

Cancer Treatment for Therapy-Resistant Tumors

Issels® uses genetic testing to individually develop cancer treatment programs that are best suited to a patient’s specific needs. Visit our website to learn how we have been successfully using integrative immunotherapy methods to treat advanced cancer.