Category Archives: Immuno-Oncology

Ribosomes May be Hijacked to Protein Fuel for Cancers

It's Time to Stop Cancer
It’s Time to Stop Cancer

Cancer cells often have an uncanny ability to hijack the functions of normal body cells. Scientists have focused on this property in the belief that deciphering the process will lead to more effective cancer treatment.

Thanks to the results of a Yale University study, the scientific community may be a little closer to this goal. Discovery of unknown pathways to fuel sources provides insights into the development and growth of cancer.

How Cell Proteins Drive Cancer Growth

Organelles are specialized structures in cells that carry out certain tasks, much like organs do for the human body. One of these organelles, called the nucleolus, produces ribosomes, which in turn manufacture proteins.

Ribosomes can be hijacked by cancer cells to divert protein production in order to fuel cancer growth. In a study published in Cell Reports, Dr. Susan Baserga of Yale University and two of her graduate students screened 18,000 proteins that are vital to nucleoli formation.

A Target for Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment?

Dr. Baserga and her team found 139 proteins that serve as a type of master switching network. The proteins represent countless cellular pathways that control the production of ribosomes. This discovery clarifies the link between ribosomes and cancer as well as the one between ribosomes and certain birth defects known as ribosomopathies.

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Our innovative cancer treatments target both the tumor and its microenvironment. Immunotherapy programs at Issels® are created specifically to address a patient’s individual needs.

Contact us to learn how our effective cancer treatments have helped patients whose advanced cancers were non-responsive to traditional therapies.

Swiss Group Studies Dendritic Cell Vaccines with Artificial Receptors

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

One of the challenges doctors face with cancer treatment is designing a program to meet a patient’s unique needs. Immunotherapy for cancer is helping to provide solutions to this problem, such as recent improvements to dendritic cell vaccines.

Immunotherapy: Priming the Body’s Immune System

While the body’s immune system is extremely capable when it comes to fighting viruses, bacteria and other invaders, cancer cells often demonstrate a remarkable ability to evade detection. Immunotherapy works by enhancing the immune system’s power to target and destroy cancer cells.

Dendritic cells are one of the immune system’s “messengers” that present antigens to killer T-cells for destruction. Researchers in Switzerland began looking for a way to improve the effectiveness of dendritic cell vaccines.

Helping the Immune System Recognize Cancer Cells

Prof. Michele De Palma and his team created artificial receptors known as EVIRs, which are inserted in dendritic cells extracted from a patient. Once reintroduced into the patient’s system, the EVIRs are engineered to recognize exosomes that transport molecules between cells, sometimes assisting in the spread of cancer.

As EVIRs capture exosomes, it allows dendritic cells to present antigens on their outer surface, simplifying recognition and attack by killer T-cells. De Palma and his team have dubbed this phenomenon “cross-dressing,” and they’re hoping that the process will improve the specificity of cancer treatment.

Issels®: A Successful Legacy of Immunotherapy for Cancer

At Issels®, we are exclusively focused on immunotherapy for cancer with patients who have advanced or therapy-resistant cancers. Contact us to learn more about our dendritic cell vaccines and other non-toxic, personally tailored immunotherapy treatment programs.

Protein Blocking May Play a New Role in New Testicular Cancer Treatment

Protein Blocking May Play a New Role in New Testicular Cancer Treatment
Protein Blocking May Play a New Role in New Testicular Cancer Treatment

What options does a patient have when traditional forms of cancer treatment fail? In the case of testicular cancer, scientists found a new combination of treatments that may provide added hope.

Overcoming Resistance to Cancer Treatment

Testicular germ cell tumors are a form of cancer found most commonly in younger men. A research team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, encouraged by earlier work at the facility, examined the function of a certain type of protein in the development of testicular cancer.

The team focused specifically on insulin growth factor receptor-1. They discovered that IGF1R, as the protein is also called, was more active in some testicular cancer cells as opposed to normal tissue. Using chemical inhibitors, the researchers were able to deplete the supply of IGF1R or curtail its activity, thereby reducing cell growth.

In addition, blocking IGF1R activity in previously drug-resistant cells made them more receptive to platinum-based chemotherapy. The team is hopeful that the two treatments, used in tandem, will be more successful in killing testicular cancer cells.

What Does the Future Hold?

Receptor tyrosine kinases, the class of proteins that includes IGF1R, are linked to cell growth and division in several other types of cancer. Clinical trials have tested the use of IGF1R in hopes that they may have positive results in other applications.

Effective Cancer Treatment for Therapy-Resistant Tumors

For decades, Issels® has been helping patients with advanced and therapy-resistant cancer achieve long-term remission. Contact us to learn how we are continuing the legacy of our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, who was a pioneer in the field of immunotherapy for cancer.

Seed Money from Give Hope Will Help to Fund Pancreatic Cancer Research

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

Nearly everyone in America has been touched by cancer, whether it’s through personal experience or that of a friend or family member. One woman literally turned her loss into hope for continued research in immunotherapy for cancer and other treatments.

Sorrow Gives Rise to Hope

Susan Hunt’s experience came when her best friend Beth was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Hunt mourned the time they lost together, but she challenged her grief into Give Hope, the all-volunteer group she founded to raise seed money for continued research into new treatments and possible cures.

When it comes to cancer research, scientists are faced with a catch-22: they need data to present to the big cancer foundations in order to secure research grants, but they require money to generate the data in the first place. Give Hope has provided major funding for pancreatic cancer studies at the University of Cincinnati.

“Bench to Bedside”

Dr. Syed Ahmad of UC’s Cancer Institute used the term “bench to bedside” to sum up the research process. Every idea begins on a laboratory bench, where it’s nurtured with time and resources until it ends up at a patient’s bedside.

According to Hunt, the seed money raised by Give Hope has generated nearly $2 million in pancreatic cancer research funding for UC. University officials explained that after three years, the Cancer Institute receives $35 for every one dollar in seed money.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: The Issels® Difference

Our individually developed cancer treatment programs are not clinical trials. We have had years of success treating patients of all ages with all types of cancer. Contact us for more information.

Using Viruses to Boost the Immune Response in Immunotherapy

Medical Research Has Validated that Immunotherapy Works to Fight Cancer
Medical Research Has Validated that Immunotherapy Works to Fight Cancer

When it comes to your health, viruses are usually thought of as something to avoid. New studies have shown that infecting tumors with viruses can actually boost the beneficial effects of immunotherapy for cancer.

Helping the Immune System Target Tumors

Your body’s immune system is the primary line of defense against invading cells. One of the barriers to successful cancer treatment has been the ability of cancer cells to evade detection, leaving them free to grow unchecked.

On the other hand, the immune system has an excellent ability to recognize viruses. Two separate studies show evidence that cancer-targeting viruses might be able to trigger an immune attack on tumors.

– A team in England injected nine brain tumor patients with a cancer-seeking virus. After the tumors were surgically removed, researchers discovered that the viruses had indeed reached their target, and there were signs that the viral infection caused an immune response.

– Researchers in Canada performed similar tests on mice with breast cancer. The virus was injected directly into the tumors, and while it had little effect on survival rates, the infected mice had fewer instances of tumors spreading.

Viruses and Immunotherapy for Cancer

Professor John Bell, senior author of the latter study, explained that the virus “raises a big red flag” to alert the immune system. He went on to say that the addition of a checkpoint inhibitor enables a full-force immune attack.

State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy Treatments at Issels®

The non-toxic, individually developed immunotherapy for cancer treatments at Issels® are directed at enhancing the power of your own immune system. Contact us to learn more about our integrative programs.

Properties of Breast Tissue May Play a Role in Cancer Progression

There is New Hope for Breast Cancer Treatment
There is New Hope for Breast Cancer Treatment

Doctors have found some success with immunotherapy for cancer during the late stages of the disease, but the mystery of what causes certain tumors to spread has remained unsolved. Scientists are now turning to a surprising source for information about breast cancer progression.

A Matter of Engineering?

Ovijit Chaudhuri, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has been working with researchers across campus exploring the mechanical properties of breast tissue and their role in cancer progression. According to Chaudhuri, evidence supporting this relationship has been accumulating over the last 20 years.

Questions being studied by the teams include:

– How does stiffness of breast tissue encourage the growth and spread of tumors? Chaudhuri’s group is culturing mammary cells inside a hydrogel and tuning its stiffness to determine how it affects the development of cancer cells.

– How do cancer cells find their way past the membrane surrounding breast tissue that is seemingly too dense to allow passage? Currently, the scientists theorize that the cells use a combination of enzymes and force to “cut” their way through.

– As surrounding tissue grows in stiffness over time, how do tumors find space to expand?

Mechanobiology: A Complementary Approach

This isn’t the first time that scientists have sought biological information from the field of engineering. The result is the hybrid science of mechanobiology, which studies the interactions of mechanical properties and biological processes.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: Treating Resistant Tumors

At Issels®, our non-toxic immunotherapy programs have helped patients with advanced and therapy-resistant cancers achieve long-term remission. Visit our website for more information about our successful history of personally tailored and integrative cancer treatment programs.