Tag Archives: Cancer News

Some Cancers Cloak Themselves from the Immune System’s Discovery

Some Cancers Cloak Themselves from the Immune System's Discovery
Some Cancers Cloak Themselves from the Immune System’s Discovery

Immunotherapy cancer treatment is designed to aid the body’s immune system in recognizing and attacking tumor cells. Scientists are finally uncovering clues as to how cancer cells are able to evade detection by the body’s natural defenses.

How Cancer Blocks the Immune System

The first steps were taken in 2009 by a team headed up by Dr. Irving Weissman, director of Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Their research discovered that some cancer cells are able to emit a “don’t eat me” signal.

High levels of CD47, a transmembrane protein, are found on the surface of more aggressive cancer cells. CD47 then binds with another protein called SIRPalpha on the surface of macrophages, a type of white blood cell, inhibiting their ability to attack cancer cells.

In 2017, Dr. Weissman’s team published the results of a recent study that identified another protein that interferes with macrophage activity. When MHC class 1 binds with a protein known as LILRB1, it’s resistant to an antibody that has been used successfully to counteract CD47 in tests on mice with cancer.

Applications for Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Cancer research is complicated by the fact that different types have different “fingerprints.” The studies conducted by Dr. Weissman’s team are helping scientists learn more about strategies to “outwit” cancer cells and their ability to avoid detection.

Issels®: Pioneering Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Our founder, Dr. Josef Issels, was ahead of his time in focusing on the immune system as the key to defeating advanced cancer. Contact us to learn more about how we are continuing his legacy of helping patients achieve long-term remission.

Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment

Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment
Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment

The problem with traditional cancer treatments is that they attack healthy cells along with diseased cells, which results in serious side effects such as fatigue and hair loss. Doctors are encouraged by the success of a new cancer treatment that zeroes in on the cancer cells.

The “Next Revolution in Cancer Therapy”

Molecularly targeted therapy is being hailed as the next big step in cancer treatment. These new drugs are designed at the molecular level to attack the diseased cells of a specific type of cancer. In addition, they can identify specific molecules that are part of specific cancers.

The drugs are created by a process that is the reverse of how most cancer drugs are developed. Scientists identify an abnormal molecule that’s unique to a particular type of cancer, then design a drug that shuts down its activity.

Gleevec: Paving the Way

Novartis Pharmaceuticals has developed Gleevec, also known as STI571, which is leading the way for molecularly targeted therapy. Gleevec is used for chronic myeloid leukemia, or CML, which is a rare form of the disease characterized by excessive production of white blood cells.

Researchers discovered that Gleevec is also effective against GIST, a rare gastrointestinal cancer. GIST features a unique enzyme related to the original target enzyme in CML.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Gene-targeted therapies, including Gleevec, Tamoxifen and Avastin, are a significant part of our personalized treatment programs. Issels® also uses non-toxic immunotherapy treatments that boost the immune system’s ability to target tumor cells.

Contact us today for more information about our decades of success in helping patients achieve long-term remission.

Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments
Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

While a protein known as p53 has long been recognized as a potent factor in suppressing tumors, the reasons have been unclear. Scientists are now discovering more about p53, including the existence of a “super” version, that may have valuable implications for cancer immunotherapy.

Finding the Right Balance

Balance is essential for realizing the maximum benefits of p53. Too little leaves the door open for tumor growth, but too much can cause developmental problems.

A research team at the Stanford University School of Medicine tested a variety of p53 mutations on mice that were susceptible to pancreatic cancer. The scientists were surprised to find that one version of the protein kept the mice tumor-free for longer periods of time.

A “Supercharged” Tumor Suppressor

According to Dr. Laura Attardi, senior author of the study, the mutated protein hit a “sweet spot” that allowed embryos to develop without any problems and gave adult mice greater resistance to tumors. The mutation appears to hyperactivate the p53 protein, causing it to affect a number of downstream targets.

With hundreds of genes impacted by p53 activity, Attardi’s team turned to the question of discovering which ones were involved in tumor development. They discovered the pathway of three proteins, led by p53, that created a chain reaction preventing development of tumor cells.

Issels®: Leading the Way in Cancer Immunotherapy

Our personalized immunotherapy programs include gene-targeted therapies that shut down specific molecules required for cancer growth. Treatments are integrated with other therapies that combine for the most effective ways of fighting tumor cells.

Contact us to learn more about our success in helping patients achieve long-term remission

Drug Resistant Cancer Cells Appear to Share a Similar Weakness

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

Cancer researchers at UC San Francisco have discovered a common gene vulnerability in certain treatment-resistant cancers. This is yet another promising advancement that could lead to better treatment of existing cancers and a new approach to preventing cancer recurrences.

Visit Issels® for more information on how combining traditional cancer treatments with integrative immunotherapy can reduce the incidence of relapse from 13 to 50 percent.

Understanding drug-resistant cancer cells

For many years, oncologists thought the drug resistance of cancer cells evolved genetically. Doctors thought a few of the cells survived cancer treatment because they had or somehow developed gene mutations to withstand traditional treatments. These remaining cells would then lead to a recurrence of cancer.

In 2010, researchers working at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center found that some cancer cells may be able to avoid the effects of treatment without any genetic mutations. These small clumps of cells are called “persister cells” and they go into a dormant state, allowing them to survive cancer drugs. The cells awaken later and lead to new cancer growth.

Exploiting persister cell weaknesses

Matthew Hangauer, PhD led the UC San Francisco study. He said persister cancer cells have a mesenchymal-like gene expression signature and rely on the enzyme glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) to survive treatment. Lab tests show that blocking GPX4 can kill the persister cells found in many different cancer types. Researchers hope to soon validate their findings with human patients.

The Issels® non-toxic cancer treatment

Our caring and knowledgeable experts have helped many patients achieve long-term remission from cancer by using personalized immunotherapy treatment protocols. Contact us for more information.

New Device Helps to Accurately Detect Cancer in Tissue Biopsies

New Advances in Early Cancer Detection
New Advances in Early Cancer Detection

One of the biggest roadblocks to successful cancer treatment is the difficulty of differentiating between healthy and diseased tissue. Cancer immunotherapy helps to address this problem, and researchers have announced development of a new device that may also improve outcomes.

Removing Cancer While Sparing Healthy Tissue

Surgery is a primary tool in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, but there’s a risk that some of the cancerous tissue may be left behind. Surgeons sometimes use cryosection, in which a frozen tissue sample is evaluated by a pathologist, but the method is time-consuming and not always accurate.

A study published in Science Translational Medicine reveals how a team of researchers in Texas created the MasSpec Pen to detect cancer in human tissue. This device uses the dysfunctional metabolism of cancer cells to differentiate them from normal cells.

Identifying Cancerous Cells Within Seconds

Once a molecular fingerprint has been drawn, the cells are analyzed using software that has been “trained” by processing hundreds of healthy and cancerous human tissue samples. Within 10 seconds, the sample is flagged as “Normal” or “Cancer.”

The research team tested 253 samples of both normal and cancerous tissue with an accuracy rate of more than 96 percent. When the device was tested on mice, it again proved accurate without causing damage to healthy tissue. Testing in human cancer surgeries is expected to begin in 2018.

Cancer Immunotherapy at Issels®: A Personalized Treatment Program

No two cases of cancer are identical. At Issels®, we create a cancer immunotherapy program based on your specific needs. Contact us for more information.

Cancer News: Cancer Can Metastasize Without Involvement of the Lymph System

Metastatic cancer, where tumors spread from the original site to other parts of the body, presents a significant challenge for cancer treatment. Current research is causing scientists to rethink the conventional model of metastasis.

The Role of Lymph Nodes in Cancer Metastasis

A team of researchers led by Dr. Rakesh Jain of Massachusetts General Hospital studied 213 tissue samples from 17 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The focus was on relationships between cells from the primary tumor, lymph nodes and remote sites of metastasis.

The scientists were surprised to discover that only 35 percent of the patients presented the traditional path of cancer moving via lymph nodes to more distant sites. In these cases, cancer cells from both metastases matched cell types in the original tumor.

In the other 65 percent of patients, both metastases matched different cells within the primary tumor, indicating separate origins. These results demonstrate that cancer may metastasize without involvement of lymph nodes, contradicting previously-held beliefs.

Applications for Future Cancer Treatment

According to Dr. Jain, lymph node metastases were generally considered forerunners of more distant metastases. Scientists were therefore puzzled why complete surgical removal of lymph nodes didn’t always improve survival rates.

Dr. Jain went on to explain that the typing assay his team developed can be a valuable way to analyze cancer’s path in certain patients. The information can then be used for better clinical management of metastatic cancer treatment.

Individualized Treatment for Patients at All Stages of Cancer

Issels® has an impressive track record of successfully treating cancer patients at all stages, including stage IV or metastatic cancer. Contact us for more information.