Tag Archives: Cancer Immunotherapy

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.

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.

Immunotherapy the Cancer Treatment Disrupter

Join Us in the Fight Cancer
Join Us in the Fight Against Cancer

During the last few years, respected political leaders Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter have become active in raising awareness of cancer immunotherapy and the need for research. Now a major figure in the social media and technology field has added his voice and his funding to these efforts.

From Social Networking to Social Responsibility

Sean Parker first made his name as the founder of music-sharing service Napster before serving as the first president of social networking giant Facebook. While that might be enough for most people, Parker has begun a new project that will affect even more individuals in a personal way.

Over the last decade, Parker has generously supported organizations such as Stand Up to Cancer and Cancer Research Institute Immunotherapy Dream Team. Early in 2016, Parker earmarked $250 million from his charitable foundation for a grant to establish the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

The Institute is comprised of seven academic medical centers working in conjunction with more than 50 partners in pharma and biotech. According to Parker, the intent was to “cut down the barriers” that limit the free exchange of information.

Aligning Research and Medicine

Parker was inspired to found the Institute when he noticed a disconnect between academic science and the process of actually bringing treatments to patients. He specifically sees cancer immunotherapy as the “opportunity to disrupt” the gap between what’s possible through technology and what’s actually being accomplished.

Issels®: A Champion for Immunotherapy

Our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, was ahead of his time in recognizing the power of cancer immunotherapy. Contact us for more information about our non-toxic integrative programs.

Is the Cost of R&D for Cancer Medications Overstated?

Are Costs Overstated for Cancer Research?
Are Costs Overstated for Cancer Medication Research?

Significant research and development (R&D) costs are often the main reason cited for steep prices on cancer treatments. Surprisingly, a study centered on 10 new cancer drugs suggests that these costs may have been greatly overstated.

The True Costs of Cancer Treatment R&D?

Results of the study, which was recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine, determined that the R&D process for a new cancer drug usually spans seven years, with an average total cost between $648 million and $794 million.

On its face, the numbers are huge, but relatively small compared to the yardstick used by pharmaceutical companies. Their measure is the staggering figure of $2.7 billion per drug, which was determined by a Tufts University study in 2016.

Cost vs. Benefit

Even more revealing was the assessment of sales generated by the 10 drugs evaluated in the study. After an average of four years on the market, the drugs had a combined total of $67 billion in revenue, which is seven times more than the aggregate of the R&D costs.

As expected, members of the pharmaceutical industry are taking exception with the report. Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, took no official position but felt that the study would prompt wider discussion on the issue.

Integrative Cancer Immunotherapy Programs from Issels®

While cancer immunotherapy is a hot topic in the medical community, Issels® has been successfully using non-toxic treatments such as cancer vaccines for decades. Contact us for more information about our cancer centers in Santa Barbara, CA and Tijuana, Mexico.

Immunotherapy and Its Use in Stage 2 and 3 Cancers

There is New Hope for Cancer Patients. Don't Give up!
There is New Hope for Cancer Patients. Don’t Give up!

Immunotherapy drugs have become a valuable weapon in the fight against metastatic cancer, also known as Stage 4. Researchers are discovering that immunotherapy for cancer treatment can also have positive results when used during earlier stages of the disease.

Immunotherapy and Early-Stage Cancer

At the recent European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress in Madrid, AstraZeneca presented successful trial results for its immuno-oncology drug Imfinzi in treating mid-stage lung cancer. AstraZeneca is considered a latecomer to the I-O field as compared to established companies such as Merck and Bristol-Meyers Squibb.

For their part, Bristol-Meyers produced evidence regarding Opdivo, the company’s widely used late-stage I-O drug. Opdivo has been shown to prevent relapses in melanoma patients when administered immediately post-surgery.

Supplementing Surgery with Immunotherapy

This method of following surgery with cancer treatment is referred to as adjuvant therapy. With the success of Opdivo, a number of trials are being conducted on adjuvant therapy using I-O drugs with a range of cancer types. Some trials are even focusing on neoadjuvant, or pre-surgery, treatment for breast, neck and head cancers.

What’s Next?

If the trend of early-stage immunotherapy treatment continues, early detection becomes even more important than ever. According to Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, effective early treatment is a powerful incentive for increased use of screening methods.

Non-Toxic Immunotherapy Programs from Issels®

Our cancer vaccines and other non-toxic, personally tailored immunotherapy treatment programs have resulted in long-term remission for patients with all types of therapy-resistant cancers. Contact us for more information about Issels®, the leader in immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

John McCain and Glioblastoma

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

Two years ago, then-Vice President Joe Biden was inspired by the death of his son to launch a “moonshot” campaign for cancer treatment research. Today, Sen. John McCain’s battle against brain cancer has once again turned a spotlight on the disease.

Vice-President Biden Joins the Fight Against Cancer

In May 2015, Biden’s eldest son Beau succumbed to glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The same disease claimed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2009.

Four months after his son’s death, Biden called off his expected run for the presidency in order to launch a campaign of a different sort. Biden and his advisors joined forces with the American Association for Cancer Research to ramp up the search for a cure.

Brain Cancer Remains in Public Awareness

Arizona Sen. John McCain, a one-time Presidential candidate himself, was diagnosed with glioblastoma this past July. The diagnosis added another layer of drama when McCain returned to Washington, D.C. a week later and cast the deciding vote against a proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Last month, McCain appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss his illness. The senator told host Jake Tapper that he would be undergoing an MRI the following day, adding that advancements in cancer treatment gave hope for his prognosis.

State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy from Issels®

Researchers have been making astounding breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Issels® has long been a leader in the use of personally tailored immunotherapy programs to successfully treat patients with all forms of cancer.

Contact us for more information about our integrative, non-toxic treatments such as cancer vaccines and NK cells.