Category Archives: Cancer Survivors

An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story

An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story
An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story

What happens when a patient responds to cancer immunotherapy that, according to advanced medical knowledge, shouldn’t work? Scientists are studying four recent cases where cancer treatment “broke the rules.”

Exceptions to the Rule?

Four women in different countries, who knew each other only through an online support group, were diagnosed with the same rare form of ovarian cancer. Each one persuaded her doctor to use immunotherapy drugs, despite conventional wisdom that the treatment was useless against ovarian cancer.

Against all odds, the patients responded positively, with their tumors going into remission and the women returning to their normal lives. Researchers are hoping to gain insight that will help develop cancer immunotherapy treatments with a broader range of applications.

Why Doctors Were Caught by Surprise

Tumor cells have an ability to deflect attacks from the body’s immune system, allowing them to multiply freely. Immunotherapy is a way of helping the immune system identify and kill cancer cells.

So far immunotherapy has been successful primarily with lung cancer, melanoma and forms with many genetic mutations. By contrast, hypercalcemic ovarian cancer, which is the form that affected the four women, is driven by a single mutation.

The theory is that a lower number of mutations “tricks” the immune system into disregarding the threat posed by cancer cells. Based on the positive results in the women with ovarian cancer, scientists at Johns Hopkins and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are conducting trials with the aim of further refining cancer immunotherapy.

Comprehensive Cancer Immunotherapy Treatments at Issels®

Our individually created immunotherapy programs are often successful where other conventional treatments have failed. Contact us for more information.

“Feed” Your Battle Against Breast Cancer with These Food Tips

Diet Tips for Breast Cancer Patients
Diet Tips for Breast Cancer Patients

Is there an ideal diet to aid in breast cancer treatment? While there is no ‘best diet’ for those undergoing treatment, to reduce the risks of treatment and support your body, nutritional science conducted by the University of Hawaii Cancer Center points to ways that modifying diet may help.

Taking a ‘Bite’ Out of Risks

In terms of breast cancer treatment and prevention, research shows this hormonally-driven disease is strongly affected by obesity. However treatment time is NOT the time for weight loss. Instead, a shift to the development of healthful habits, including a balanced diet that promotes overall health, is ideal.

Foods that Feed the Battle

A diet of fresh veggies, plant-based proteins, and high-fiber foods – foods packed with phytochemicals, antioxidants, flavonoids, isoflavones, and other super-food, cancer-fighting properties – is ideal. Limiting alcohol intake is also advisable, as excessive intake is linked to cancer risk.

What’s on the Menu?

– Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.
– Plant-based proteins, including soy, beans, nuts and seeds.
– Other lean proteins that help boost immunity and retain muscle mass, such as poultry, fish, and eggs.
– High-fiber fruits, veggies, and grains like rice and quinoa that keep appetite (and cholesterol) in check.

Planning for Success

Planning shopping and meals on ‘good days’ can help make dietary changes and adequate nutrition easier. Form a monthly/weekly meal plan, ‘batch cooking’ large hearty stews or casseroles that can be easily packed into smaller portions for easy reheating when you’re under-the-weather. Aim for 5-6 smaller meals/day.

Looking for the ‘magic pill’ for breast cancer treatment? Ensure a better outcome with the help of Issels® today.

New Research Shows Alcohol Use Increases Cancer Risks

Doctors have long cautioned against poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, that increase the risk of cancer. In a study that may hold implications related to immunotherapy for cancer, scientists have discovered how alcohol use causes DNA damage in cells.

Harmful Effects of Alcohol on DNA

Cancer Research UK partially funded a study conducted by a research team at Cambridge. After mice were given diluted alcohol, also known as ethanol, they experienced genetic damage as a result of acetaldehyde that forms when the body processes alcohol.

Using chromosome analysis and DNA sequencing, the researchers found that acetaldehyde causes DNA within blood stem cells to break. Once the chromosomes rearrange, the DNA sequences are permanently changed.

According to Professor Ketan Patel, lead author of the study, DNA-damaged stem cells can lead to the development of cancer. This damage is sometimes random, but consumption of alcohol increases the risk.

Can Alcohol-Related DNA Damage Be Prevented?

The body uses enzymes called ALDH as well as DNA repair systems to protect against alcohol-related damage. In the study, mice who lacked essential ALDH suffered four times the amount of DNA damage as mice with the enzyme, indicating that faulty defense mechanisms increase the risk.

Professor Patel warned that even intact alcohol defenses are no guarantee against developing cancer. In addition, Professor Linda Bauld of Cancer Research UK pointed out that alcohol contributes to more than 12,000 cancer cases in the UK each year.

Non-Toxic Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®

Our integrative programs are individually created to include gene-targeted therapies and other treatments that address a patient’s specific needs. Contact us for more information.

Cancer Treatment: Food Safety Tips After Treatment

Cancer Treatment: Food Safety Tips After Treatment
Cancer Treatment: Food Safety Tips After Treatment

Even after successful cancer treatment, your body is not at full strength. It may be more difficult for your immune system to fight foodborne illness than it was before treatment.

Use these tips to reduce the risk of food poisoning both during and after immunotherapy and other cancer treatment programs.

1. Practice “Safe Shopping”

– Don’t buy food products stored or displayed in areas that appear unsanitary.

– Don’t buy produce with bruises or other visible damage.

– Don’t buy cans that are dented or showing bulges.

2. Follow Careful Prep and Clean-Up Methods

– Rinse and dry all fresh fruits and vegetables.

– Wipe the tops of cans thoroughly before opening.

Wash hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds before and after prep. Use the same method to clean all dishes and utensils.

– Disinfect cutting boards and kitchen surfaces using a mixture of one teaspoon of unscented liquid bleach with a quart of water.

3. Watch Food Temperatures

– Always use a food thermometer with meat and poultry to make sure products are sufficiently cooked.

– Perishable foods should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours of buying or cooking, and even more quickly during periods of hot weather.

– Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator and cook immediately afterwards.

Nutritional Immunotherapy at Issels®

Scientists have found a link between poor nutrition and cancer development. Our individualized cancer treatment programs include methods to restore nutritional balance and promote optimum functioning of the immune system.

Contact us to learn more about nutritional immunotherapy and other integrative immunotherapy programs at Issels®.

 

Focusing on a Cancer’s Host Tissue May Bring a Prognosis into Better Focus

State of the Art Treatment with Cancer Immunotherapy
State of the Art Treatment with Cancer Immunotherapy

Thanks to innovations in testing methods and proactive awareness campaigns, doctors are able to diagnose cancer earlier then ever, increasing the chances of successful cancer immunotherapy. The second part of the equation, predicting the degree of malignancy, is a puzzle that remains to be solved.

When Is a Patient Truly Free of Cancer?

After treatment, a patient who shows no signs of cancer cells is classified as “no evidence of disease.” While the patient may display no visible tumors, doctors have no way of knowing if the cells have metastasized to other areas of the body where they may later resurface.

Chemotherapy and other treatments are often prescribed to decrease the chance of metastasis. Doctors tend to err on the side of caution, assuming that all patients are vulnerable, so many endure grueling rounds of treatment that end up being unnecessary.

“Focus on the Soil, Not the Seed”

For the most part, researchers have concentrated on unraveling the mysteries of cancer cells themselves to understand how they grow and spread. In keeping with that approach, scientists believed that metastasis was caused by cells spreading outward from their original location.

Based on that theory, all cancer patients would be expected to have metastasis. Many researchers are now shifting to a view that the spread of cancer cells is caused by a pathological relationship between the diseased cells and the host environment.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Immunotherapy from Issels®

Cancer immunotherapy at Issels® is directed at the cancer cells along with the underlying causes for the development of tumors. Contact us to learn more about how Issels® has helped patients achieve long-term remission.

Issels Out-Patient Apartments in Santa Barbara, California

There Truly is Nothing More Relaxing nor Refreshing than Focusing on Getting Better By the Beach.
There Truly is Nothing More Relaxing nor Refreshing than Focusing on Getting Better By the Beach.

Lifestyle and environment are two major factors that affect your health and well-being. When you receive out-patient immunotherapy for cancer at our Issels® Medical Center in Santa Barbara, relax and focus on healing with a stay at one of several charming apartments nearby.

Fully Furnished Ocean View Apartments

Issels® Medical Center is located in downtown Santa Barbara, with close proximity to shopping, restaurants and personal services. We’re pleased to offer our patients special rates on a number of exclusive, fully furnished one- and two-bedroom apartments in the area.

  • Enjoy ocean views and convenient direct access to the beach.
  • Upscale features include hardwood-style floors, ceiling fans, king-size beds and balconies and patios.
  • Each apartment has a generously sized, fully equipped gourmet kitchen.

The apartments are a perfect complement to our personally tailored immunotherapy for cancer programs. You’ll love returning from a treatment session to relax in luxurious and comfortable surroundings.

Additional Living Options

If you’re interested in other living arrangements, discounted rates are available at several suite-style hotels in the area that can accommodate any preferences. You can also choose from the variety of vacation rental apartments found throughout Santa Barbara.

Issels® Leads the Way in State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy for Cancer

At Issels®, you’re more than just a patient. Our caring and compassionate team is focused on every aspect of your healing and recovery.

Get first-hand accounts of why the Issels® difference makes us a leader in modern immunotherapy treatment. Visit our website to hear and read testimonials from patients of all ages and stages of cancer who have achieved long-term remission at Issels®.