Tag Archives: Cancer News

Zika Virus and Brain Cancer – New Research is Underway

Could There be a Connection Between Zika and Brain Cancer?
Could There be a Connection Between Zika and Brain Cancer?

The Zika virus is back in the news, but this time the stories are positive. Researchers in the UK are planning a groundbreaking test to determine whether the Zika virus can destroy brain tumor cells.

Thinking Outside the Box

Cancer Research UK uses its Pioneer Awards to encourage innovation that could lead to game-changing new methods in the fight against cancer. Dr. Harry Bulstrode of the University of Cambridge is the most recent recipient.

The target of Dr. Bulstrode’s test is glioblastoma, the most aggressive and commonly occurring form of brain cancer. Laboratory research will be conducted on tumor cells in mice.

Why the Zika Virus?

Immunotherapy for cancer and other current treatments have two major drawbacks:

• The treatments are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier.

• Low doses must be administered to avoid harming healthy tissue.

The Zika virus has neither of these restrictions. It can cross the blood-brain barrier and target cancer cells rather than healthy ones.

While Zika virus infection in pregnant women causes severe disabilities in babies by attacking stem cells in developing brains, it generally causes only mild flu-like symptoms in adults who have fully developed brains.

The crucial difference is that glioblastoma cells have a similar makeup to cells in developing brains. Dr. Bulstrode is hopeful that the Zika virus can be used to attack the tumor cells and spare healthy tissue.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: A Game-Changer

When it comes to game-changing treatments, immunotherapy for cancer has been leading the way. Contact us to learn more about how personally tailored immunotherapy treatments at Issels® have helped patients achieve long-term remission.

New Medications Inhibit Cancer Cloaking by IDO Enzyme

New Medications Inhibit Cancer Cloaking by IDO Enzyme
New Medications Inhibit Cancer Cloaking by IDO Enzyme

 Cancer treatment research often focuses on destroying the defenses that prevent the immune system from attacking tumor cells. A promising new immunotherapy drug works by disabling one of these protective enzymes.

Disabling Cancer’s Protective Shield

IDO is an enzyme that shields a fetus from the mother’s immune system, which would perceive the fetus as an infection. During the early 2000s, researchers in Belgium discovered that tumors also express IDO, depriving T-cells of tryptophan, an amino acid that fuels T-cells.

Incyte, a small firm in Wilmington, Delaware, was the first to develop epacadostat, a drug that suppresses production of IDO. The company presented their findings, including results of the first meaningful trial in treating lung cancer, at last June’s meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The Medical Community Reacts

According to Vamil Divan, an analyst at Credit Suisse, Incyte’s impressive presentation generated major interest in doctors and investors alike. Incyte also confirmed earlier research that successfully paired epacadostat with Keytruda, another immunotherapy drug, without a significant increase in side effects.

Approval of the combined epacadostat-Keytruda cancer treatment is pending results of a final trial, expected sometime next year. Merck and Bristol-Myers, two of Incyte’s initial collaborators, are working on development of their own IDO inhibitors.

Issels®: Pioneers of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment

IDO inhibitors are just the latest development in the field of immunotherapy, which boosts the power of your own immune system to fight cancer. Contact us to learn why Issels® has been in the forefront of using state-of-the-art immunotherapy to achieve long-term remission in patients of all ages with all forms of cancer.

New Blood Test Identifies Which Prostate Cancer Patients Will Respond Favorably to Specific Medications

New Blood Test Identifies Which Prostate Cancer Patients Will Respond Favorably to Specific Medications
New Blood Test Identifies Which Prostate Cancer Patients Will Respond Favorably to Specific Medications

No two cases of cancer are identical, which makes it a challenge to determine what course of cancer treatment will be most effective. Scientists are excited about a new three-in-one blood test that may open the door for precision treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Three-Pronged Attack on Prostate Cancer

Professor Johann de Bono, leader of the team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, explained the three functions of the blood test:

• Blood samples are initially checked for the presence of mutated BRCA genes.

• Once treatment begins, DNA in the blood is monitored to determine whether or not the patient is responding.

• In the final step, blood is tested for signs of evolving cancer that is developing a resistance to drugs.

Overcoming Cancer’s Defense Mechanisms

Cancer cells with BRCA mutations use a specific enzyme to repair themselves, making tumors resistant to treatment. Drugs called Parp inhibitors block these enzymes, causing cancer cells to die off. The blood test helps to identify patients who are most likely to respond to Parp inhibitors.

The Institute of Cancer Research’s chief executive, Paul Workman, praised the test as a simple, inexpensive and non-invasive method to develop precision cancer treatment. While the test currently focuses on prostate cancer, Professor de Bono believes it can be adapted to other forms of cancer in the future.

Issels®: Matching the Right Treatment to the Right Patient

Specialized testing has long been a part of our integrative and personalized cancer treatment programs. Contact us to learn more about how Issels® uses cancer vaccines and other immunotherapy treatments to help patients of all ages.

Cancer Research Embraces the Age of Super Computing

Supercomputers Catapult Speed of Research Ahead.
Supercomputers Catapult Speed of Research Ahead.

Can technology be the key that unlocks the secret to curing cancer? A report from the Cancer Moonshot Task Force confirmed the importance of supercomputers to research focusing on immunotherapy for cancer and other effective treatments.

HPC: A High-Tech Weapon Against Cancer

The Cancer Moonshot program originated in 2016 with the support of then-Vice President Joe Biden. At the time, Energy Secretary Ernie Monitz, a member of the task force, wrote about the role of high performance computing (HPC) in analyzing complex databases to identify patterns and other vital information.

How Cancer Researchers Use HPC

HPC systems such as the one at the Texas Advanced Computing Center use seven basic methodologies to understand cancer biology and possible treatments.

• Molecular simulations of protein and drug interactions help to create more effective treatments.

• Bioinformatics unravel the complexities of cancer genomes.

• Mathematical modeling is used to develop formulas that predict how cancer will behave.

• Quantum calculations help to refine radiation therapies.

• Computational treatment planning creates the pinpoint accuracy required to prevent radiation from damaging organs and healthy tissues.

• Computational trial design is used in immunotherapy for cancer to gauge the correct combination of dosages.

• Machine learning is how researchers develop algorithms and other statistical methods to analyze and interpret massive datasets.

Cancer Treatment Is Not “One Size Fits All”

Issels® uses state-of-the-art testing methods to design a personalized immunotherapy for cancer treatment that addresses a patient’s specialized needs. Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines, NK cells, hyperthermia and other non-toxic treatment programs at Issels®.

One in five US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer

1 in 5 US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer
1 in 5 US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer

Rare cancers are more common than you think. As a group, they make up about 20% of all cancer diagnoses. However, each specific type of rare cancer is still very dangerous because the symptoms are often misdiagnosed. At Issels®, we often see patients whose rare cancer went undiagnosed despite several rounds of doctor visits and tests.

The American Cancer Society recently shed light on the frequency of rare cancer diagnoses:

  • Rare cancer is defined by annual diagnoses in less than 6 out of 100,000 people
  • 71% of all cases in people under 20 years old are rare types
  • 39% of all cases in people 20 to 39 years old are rare types
  • Younger people have better survival rates for rare cancer than older people

Together, Learning More About Rare Cancers

In some cases, standard cancer treatment fails to work as well as it does for common types of cancer. On the other hand, the ACS notes that innovations in rare cancer treatment often help scientists develop better treatment for all types of cancers.

After a rare cancer diagnosis, it can be difficult to find information if your physicians are not very familiar with the disease. We specialize in advanced stage cancer treatment at Issels®, including rare types of the disease that are not responding well enough to standard therapies.

At Issels®, we offer individualized treatments including cancer vaccines developed using the patient’s own autoimmune cells. Such treatments, known as immunotherapy, are helping patients with standard therapy–resistant and advanced stages of cancer.

Learn more about our integrative immunotherapy approach to cancer treatment on our website or contact us for more info.

Smart Technology Boosts Fundraising for Cancer Research

Smart Technology is Being Used to Fight Cancer
Smart Technology is Being Used to Boost Cancer Fundraising

05Smart Technology Boosts Fundraising for Cancer ResearchToday’s sophisticated technology has been a game-changer for researchers working on immunotherapy for cancer and other treatments. Now organizations are turning to smart technology for innovative fundraising solutions.

“Sit Down for Cancer?”

Last February, Cancer Research UK installed 10 smart benches in select London boroughs. While they were initially a tie-in with World Cancer Day, the benches were intended to play a significant role in this year’s fundraising campaign.

These benches allow passers-by to donate funds with a simple tap of their debit card, providing a clever way for the charity to conduct “contactless fundraising.” The goal is to get people to think of charitable donations as part of everyday life rather than something restricted to specific events and drives.

All benches are equipped with WiFi and phone charging stations, encouraging people to think of them as a mutually beneficial service. They also provide an attractive element in the look and ambiance of public spaces.

Pros and Cons of Contactless Fundraising

In addition to making donations more convenient, contactless fundraising promotes overall awareness of a charity. Barclaycard has had success with contactless donation boxes installed on behalf of a number of charities.

The downside is that technology can make contactless fundraising devices too cost-prohibitive for some charities. Also, many organizations believe that the persuasive power of human contact still makes face-to-face fundraising the preferable method.

Issels®: In the Forefront of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatments

While immunotherapy for cancer has become a hot topic, we have been using our integrative non-toxic programs for decades. Contact us for more information about cancer vaccines and other personally tailored treatments.