Category Archives: Alternative Cancer Treatment

Treatment Uses Patient’s Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Treatment Uses Patient's Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer
Treatment Uses Patient’s Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Scientists are hopeful that a new gene therapy cancer treatment will lead to development of other drugs that utilize the power of a patient’s own immune system. In the meantime, policy makers face the challenges of safety, cost and access.

“Training” the Immune System to Fight Cancer

The therapy in question, called Kymriah, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2017. Novartis developed Kymriah as a cancer treatment for children and young adults with a type of leukemia known as ALL.

Kymriah is a form of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell treatment. A patient’s T cells are genetically reengineered and infused back into the patient’s system to attack and kill cancer cells.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

During clinical trials conducted by Novartis, 63 patients received a one-time infusion of CAR T cells. After three months, 52 of the patients were in remission.

The downside is that 76 percent of the patients experienced a variety of side effects. In order to determine the overall risk vs. reward factor, the FDA has required Novartis to perform a post-marketing study of Kymriah’s safety and effectiveness.

An article published in the October issue of Health Affairs noted that high demand and high cost of CAR T cell therapies could lead to greater inequalities in health outcomes. The authors urged ethics and policy-making to catch up to the science of cancer treatment.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Cancer Immunotherapy

Issels® has long been ahead of the field in successful use of cancer treatment that aids the immune system in targeting tumor cells. Contact us for more information.

Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments
Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

While a protein known as p53 has long been recognized as a potent factor in suppressing tumors, the reasons have been unclear. Scientists are now discovering more about p53, including the existence of a “super” version, that may have valuable implications for cancer immunotherapy.

Finding the Right Balance

Balance is essential for realizing the maximum benefits of p53. Too little leaves the door open for tumor growth, but too much can cause developmental problems.

A research team at the Stanford University School of Medicine tested a variety of p53 mutations on mice that were susceptible to pancreatic cancer. The scientists were surprised to find that one version of the protein kept the mice tumor-free for longer periods of time.

A “Supercharged” Tumor Suppressor

According to Dr. Laura Attardi, senior author of the study, the mutated protein hit a “sweet spot” that allowed embryos to develop without any problems and gave adult mice greater resistance to tumors. The mutation appears to hyperactivate the p53 protein, causing it to affect a number of downstream targets.

With hundreds of genes impacted by p53 activity, Attardi’s team turned to the question of discovering which ones were involved in tumor development. They discovered the pathway of three proteins, led by p53, that created a chain reaction preventing development of tumor cells.

Issels®: Leading the Way in Cancer Immunotherapy

Our personalized immunotherapy programs include gene-targeted therapies that shut down specific molecules required for cancer growth. Treatments are integrated with other therapies that combine for the most effective ways of fighting tumor cells.

Contact us to learn more about our success in helping patients achieve long-term remission

Gut Bacteria Appears to Influence Whether or Not Cancer Tumors Will Shrink During Cancer Treatment

New Cancer Research Is Improving Treatment
New Cancer Research Is Improving Treatment

Bacteria is generally considered to be the cause of disease and infection, but many varieties have beneficial properties. Scientists are discovering that “good” bacteria living inside of us can have positive implications for cancer treatment.

How Can Bacteria Be “Good?”

The microbiome is a collection of microscopic organisms found inside our bodies, primarily in the gut. These organisms play a role in the digestive process and help to regulate the immune system.

Researchers in France and the United States conducted separate studies involving the microbiome of cancer patients. All participants were receiving immunotherapy treatment, which boosts the ability of the immune system to fight cancer cells.

The Relationship Between Gut Bacteria and Cancer Treatment

The team at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus in Paris studied 249 patients with lung or kidney cancer.

– Participants who had taken antibiotics, which disturb the microbiome, were more likely to experience tumor growth, even during treatment.

– A bacteria species known as A. muciniphila was found in two-thirds of patients who responded to immunotherapy, as opposed to only one-third of those who did not.

At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a team analyzed the microbiome of 112 patients with advanced melanoma.

– Patients who responded to cancer treatment were found to have a more rich and varied microbiome than those who didn’t.

– The composition of the microbiome also appeared to be significant, as higher levels of certain bacteria were associated with positive responses while others had negative impacts.

Innovative Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Our immunotherapy programs focus on cancer cells as well as the internal environment that supports them. Contact us for more information.

New Treatment Breaches Blood Barrier for Treatment of Glioblastoma

New Research is Helping to Understand Brain Cancer
New Research is Helping to Understand Brain Cancer

Brain tumors are notoriously resistant to most types of cancer treatment. Scientists have recently discovered that a drug that targets one form of cancer may also have applications for treating brain tumors.

Why Brain Tumors Are Difficult to Treat

Despite improvement in overall cancer survival rates, the numbers for brain cancer remain low. Scientists attribute this to the blood brain barrier, which is a natural filter that prevents drugs from reaching the tumors.

In a study funded by Cancer Research UK, scientists recruited 48 patients with glioblastoma, a particularly stubborn form of brain cancer, that had returned after treatment. The patients were given olaparib, a PARP inhibitor used to treat ovarian cancer, in conjunction with temozolomide, a chemotherapy drug.

After treatment, the research team examined tumor cells and found that the drug had penetrated the core of the tumor as well as cancer cells in surrounding areas. The results were significant because surgery is not possible for this form of tumor, so cancer treatment options are limited.

New Hope for Brain Tumor Treatment

According to lead researcher Professor Anthony Chalmers, glioblastoma disturbs the blood brain barrier, allowing olaparib to reach the tumor cells. Chalmers believes that scientists will be able to build on the results of the study to improve the effectiveness of current treatments.

Professor Susan Short of the National Cancer Research Institute adds that the study shows the potential of PARP inhibitors to treat a wide range of cancer types.

Cancer Treatment for Therapy-Resistant Cancers

Issels® has helped numerous patients with stage IV cancer achieve long-term remission. Contact us for details about our non-toxic cancer immunotherapy programs.

Colon Cancer and Crohns Disease Share a Link Between Inflammation and a Cellular Process

New Research Is Unlocking the Mystery of Cancer
New Research Is Unlocking the Mystery of Cancer

Here at Issels®, it’s always exciting when we learn of new breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Research that was done by the University of Warwick shows that colon cancer (among other gut-related illnesses) could be better treated, or even prevented.

Understanding the Gut Process

Science has uncovered a lot of new information regarding the role of the gut in maintaining good health. For example, the process of autophagy triggers cells to break down damaging materials in the gut. These materials are then eliminated or re-used within the body. When this process malfunctions, it can lead to chronic diseases that impact your health. Inflammation is to blame, leading to colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other serious diseases.

Avoiding and Treating Colon Cancer

The foods we eat play a major role in maintaining good gut health. There are several that can activate autophagy, even when it is currently in a dysfunctional state. These foods include:

– Pomegranates

– Mushrooms

– Soybeans

– Green peas

– Red grapes

– Pears

This research has shown that the human body doesn’t always have the proper mix of amino acids necessary to keep autophagy in a functional state all of the time. However, more research is needed to better understand this important process. This may lead scientists to discover new forms of cancer treatment, perhaps even in the near future. So far, they’ve found that the addition of a protein called Kenny can be added, which includes the correct amino acids profile.

Immunotherapy as Cancer Treatment

Here at Issels®, we’re always looking for advancements in immunotherapy for treating cancer. If you’ve recently been diagnosed, please contact us today. We can help with recovery.

New Test Could Find Esophageal Cancer Up to 8 Years Earlier

There is New Hope to Find Esophageal Cancer Early
There is New Hope to Find Esophageal Cancer Early

Patients with esophageal cancer are often diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, presenting a challenge for cancer immunotherapy and other treatments. Researchers in the U.K. have developed a genetic test for esophageal cancer that could help identify the disease up to eight years before symptoms are presented.

Are There Early Signs of Esophageal Cancer Risk?

A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge conducted a study of tissue samples from 90 patients with Barrett’s esophagus. Approximately five percent of people with this condition go on to develop esophageal cancer.

Since there has been no way to predict which cases of Barrett’s esophagus would progress to cancer, routine endoscopies have been standard treatment. Samples included in the study came from endoscopies performed over a period of 15 years. Half of the patients involved eventually developed esophageal cancer.

The researchers were able to identify predictive gene markers in 94 percent of the patients who ultimately showed signs of esophageal cancer. Even more promising is the fact that they could spot the markers in samples that predated the symptoms by several years.

Applications for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

According to Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, lead researcher of the study, the next step is to conduct clinical trials using the genetic test. If the approach proves successful, it could make early diagnosis and treatment more effective and reduce the number of people who undergo unnecessary endoscopies.

Issels®: The Leader in Cancer Immunotherapy Treatment

We have helped patients with advanced esophageal cancer and other forms of the disease achieve long-term remission. Contact us for more information about our personally developed cancer immunotherapy programs.