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NIH Embraces Immunotherapy as a Top Cancer Treatment

NIH Embraces Immunotherapy as a Top Cancer Treatment
NIH Embraces Immunotherapy as a Top Cancer Treatment

The National Institutes of Health has named immunotherapy as a top form of cancer treatment. In the past, chemotherapy and radiation were typically the main types of cancer treatments that the NIH focused on. However, research findings and treatment advances have led to an increase in the demand for immunotherapy for cancer.

Fighting Cancer with the Immune System

Immunotherapy relies on the body’s immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells before they have a chance to spread. This type of treatment focuses on strengthening natural immune defenses against cancer rather than targeting and destroying cancer with radiation or chemotherapy. This helps protect healthy cells from damage and lowers the risk of nausea and other potentially severe side effects.

Advances in Immunotherapy

Advances in immunotherapy for cancer have led to significant improvements in this type of treatment, which has resulted in a higher number of successes for those with certain types of cancer. Researchers are also doing studies to find out more about immunotherapy in order to provide more and more cancer patients with effective treatment.

Current research has been focusing on why this type of treatment works better for some patients, what other kinds of cancer it can be used for, and how to make it more effective when used in combination with other forms of cancer treatment. These findings should lead to even more successes for immunotherapy.

If you’re interested in learning more about how immunotherapy for cancer works, please contact Issels®. Our cancer treatments are nontoxic and can be effective for certain cancers that are difficult to treat.

Immunotherapy: 2017’s Top Clinical Advance for Cancer Treatment

Immunotherapy: 2017's Top Clinical Advance for Cancer Treatment
Immunotherapy: 2017’s Top Clinical Advance for Cancer Treatment

The use of immunotherapy for cancer has been around for a long time, but it’s becoming more and more common. In fact, this form of treatment was named the 2017 Clinical Cancer Advance of the Year, which was mainly due to the increase in successful cases of treatment for cancers that are normally hard to treat.

Fine-Tuning Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy offers a non-toxic form of treatment, which doesn’t have the risk of side effects as chemotherapy and radiation do. Patients often turn to this type of treatment if they have not had success with conventional cancer treatments or they’re unable to tolerate the accompanying side effects.

Immunotherapy makes use of the immune system in order to find cancer cells and destroy them, rather than relying on chemicals or radiation. Researchers have been working on improvements in the way this type of treatment handles cancer, which has led to a higher number of successful treatments.

Good Candidates for Immunotherapy

Researchers have also been looking into who benefits from this type of treatment. Immunotherapy for cancer has been used successfully in cases that are considered hard to treat. However, certain types of immunotherapy treatments seem to be more effective for some patients but not others.

Researchers are conducting a number of studies to learn more about why certain individuals have greater benefit while undergoing specific immunotherapy treatment protocols. This research is expected to lead to improvements for those with cancers that are difficult to treat with traditional methods.

If you need more information on immunotherapy for cancer, please contact Issels® today. We offer personally tailored immunotherapy treatments for those with certain cancers.

The American Cancer Society Gives Tips on Healthy Living to Prevent Cancer

The American Cancer Society Gives Tips on Healthy Living to Prevent Cancer
The American Cancer Society Gives Tips on Healthy Living to Prevent Cancer

How proactive are you about your health? According to the American Cancer Society, the healthy living tips recommended for patients undergoing cancer treatment can also reduce the risk of developing cancer in the first place.

Good Nutrition and Physical Activity Can Reduce Cancer Risk

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, approximately 20 percent of cancer cases in the United States are connected to poor health habits, including obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and lack of nutrition.

Here’s a look at how you can start today to reduce your personal cancer risk.

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight puts hormones such as estrogen and insulin into overdrive, which can promote development of tumors. In addition to reducing cancer risk, maintaining a healthy weight prevents or controls diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other issues.

2. Be Physically Active

Exercise involves physical activity performed at a moderate or vigorous intensity. This can include gardening, walking and biking as well as more traditional forms such as sports and weight lifting. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week.

3. Follow a Nutritious Diet

– Avoid processed foods.

– Eat at least 2-1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables daily.

– Choose foods that are low in fat, sugar and calories.

– Cut back or eliminate refined carbohydrates in favor of whole-grain products.

– Eat smaller portions.

– Limit your intake of alcohol.

Integrative Cancer Treatment at Issels®

At Issels®, our personally tailored cancer treatment programs combine a number of complementary elements, including nutritional immunotherapy. Contact us to learn why we are the leader in non-toxic, state-of-the-art immunotherapy 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.

Dealing with Family Members Who Don’t Agree to Your Treatment Choices

Dealing with Family Members Who Don't Agree to Your Treatment Choices
Dealing with Family Members Who Don’t Agree to Your Treatment Choices

Whether you opt for cancer immunotherapy or more traditional treatment methods, some family members may disagree with your choices. With open and honest communication, you can all work together to make sure you get the support you need.

Tips for Discussing Cancer Treatment

When a family member objects to your chosen form of cancer treatment, it’s usually caused by concern for you and fear of the unknown. Experts suggest the following tips for maintaining productive and positive discussions.

– As the patient, you are the one who will be directly affected, so your wishes should be considered first. You should also feel free to change your mind if circumstances change or you get new information.

Talk about your priorities in choosing a particular course of treatment. Knowing what’s important to you will help others understand your decision.

– People may be uncomfortable talking about cancer and treatment options for a wide variety of reasons, including fear, lack of knowledge and religious beliefs. Ask a member of your healthcare team or an experienced counselor to be involved in the discussions.

– Identify problems that may arise during treatment so everyone is prepared.

– Find out from your doctor which decisions are urgent and which ones are less pressing. This helps reduce the amount of pressure that family members may feel.

Cancer Immunotherapy with a Personal Touch

Dealing with cancer is frightening for patients and their families. At Issels®, we refuse to let the disease rob you of your individuality. Our treatments are tailored to address your personal situation and needs.

Contact us to learn more about our non-toxic cancer immunotherapy programs.

Cancer Treatment: Tips for Eating When You Simply Do Not Feel Hungry

Cancer Treatment: Tips for Eating When You Simply Do Not Feel Hungry
Cancer Treatment: Tips for Eating When You Simply Do Not Feel Hungry

Food is one of life’s great pleasures, but if you’ve lost your appetite during cancer treatment, eating becomes more of a chore. Experts offer these easy-to-follow tips to make sure you’re getting proper nutrition, even when you don’t feel hungry.

Pre-Treatment

– The stronger your system is, the more effective treatment will be. Start following a healthier diet as soon as possible to boost your levels of vitamins, minerals and other valuable nutrients.

– Stock up on foods and prepared meals that will be ready to eat when you’re feeling too tired to cook. Focus on lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole-grain items.

During Treatment

– Set a goal of consuming at least two-and-a-half cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Include a variety of colors to ensure a well-rounded mix of nutrients. Don’t forget to wash fresh produce carefully to remove dirt and germs.

– Drink liquids throughout the day. Water is the top choice, and fresh-squeezed juices are also a good option.

– Don’t worry about sticking to conventional meal times. Eat when you’re hungry, not when the clock says you should.

– Try eating several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large ones. Meal replacement drinks are a handy way to consume calories and nutrients when you’re not feeling hungry.

– Avoid raw or undercooked meat, poultry and seafood as well as unpasteurized food and beverages.

Cancer Treatment Designed Specifically for You

At Issels®, we don’t believe in generic cancer treatment for all patients. Contact us to learn how we tailor your particular treatment program to address your individual needs.