Tag Archives: Cancer Research Advancement

NCI Studies Disparities in Cancer Treatment in Rural Communities

If You and Your Family Does Choose to Live Out in the Country, Make Sure You Live Close to a Location with Good Healthcare Providers.
If You and Your Family Does Choose to Live Out in the Country, Make Sure You Live Close to a Location with Good Healthcare Providers.

Does where you live affect your chances of surviving cancer? Recent studies are putting a focus on the disparities of cancer treatment between rural and urban communities.

Equal Access to Health Care?

Overall, cancer death rates in the United States have declined over the last 40 years. Unfortunately, two studies from the National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control have revealed that cancer death rates are higher in rural areas and declining at a much slower pace.

NCI has a history of promoting cancer control in Appalachia, with efforts directed at prevention and early detection. Issues surrounding last year’s presidential election have further raised the visibility of questions about access to quality health care.

As research methods and tools become more sophisticated, scientists have the advantage of more granular data. This allows for more detailed plotting of disease patterns and trends as they apply to specific geographic regions.

Healthcare Organizations Rise to the Challenge

Growing acknowledgement of the problem is also raising the sense of urgency. Researchers at the University of Washington found that differences in life expectancy by county are large and growing even larger.

NCI, along with federal agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are joining forces to collaborate on research and implementation. The next big step is a May 2018 meeting that NCI is convening among major organizations in the cancer community.

Issels®: Accessible and High-Quality Cancer Treatment

Our integrative immunotherapy programs incorporate multiple elements to create the best possible treatment for your particular diagnosis. Contact us for more information about cancer vaccines, NK cells and other non-toxic treatment methods.

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 Treatment Medications Target Biomarkers in Cancer Versus Location

New Treatment Medications Target Biomarkers in Cancer Versus Location
New Treatment Medications Target Biomarkers in Cancer Versus Location

For many years, cancer treatment has traditionally focused on a tumor’s point of origin. A new form of immunotherapy for cancer that targets biomarkers could open the door for more precise and effective treatment of tumors.

Keytruda: A “Presidential” Immunotherapy for Cancer

Keytruda is the brand name of a drug that had previously been used to treat specific types of cancer such as melanoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, often during Stage IV. The drug earned public notice when former president Jimmy Carter received successful treatment for brain tumors resulting from Stage IV melanoma.

In May 2017, after five clinical trials, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Keytruda for use in treating tumors with a particular biomarker, regardless of location. At this point, the new use of Keytruda is limited to patients for whom other therapies have been unsuccessful.

Cutting Through the Red Tape

The new application for Keytruda was fast-tracked under the FDA’s Accelerated Approval program. If there’s a serious condition with no options for treatment, a drug can be approved solely on the basis that it’s been shown to shrink tumors.

Dr. Gwen Nichols, chief medical officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), expressed excitement for the new approval process. According to Nichols, it lets researchers focus on the biology of tumor development instead of looking for generic treatments.

Immunotherapy for Cancer Is the Talk of the Medical Community

Doctors and scientists have been buzzing about advancements in immunotherapy, but Issels® has been ahead of the curve for decades. Visit our website to learn more about our innovative immunotherapy for cancer treatments that are personally tailored for your individual needs.

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.

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.

Family’s 1,200 Mile Bike Ride to Fund Cancer Research

Family Raises Money for Pediatric Cancer
Family Raises Money for Pediatric Cancer

Getting creative can always help with a cancer awareness campaign. For one family in Michigan, that meant climbing on a bicycle built for three and setting out on a six-week fundraising bike trek from a Detroit suburb to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Karl and Eva Helminen have participated in many cancer fundraising efforts over the years, and they are also avid cyclists. As part of the Great Cycle Challenge USA program, they spent May 25 to July 5 on a bike with their 10-year-old son pedaling along, too. Their bulldog, Duchess, lent moral support and enjoyed restaurant leftovers along the way.

For the Helminens, the trip represented a special opportunity to help fundraise for childhood cancer treatment. As many families can relate, the Helminens have numerous family members and friends whose lives have been affected by cancer.

How Fundraising Events Help Cancer Treatment

Cancer awareness events can take many forms besides the typical walk or 5k run. Getting people talking and learning about cancer treatment and research projects is always the real goal.

The proceeds from cancer research events often get used to fund research to address difficult-to-treat types of cancer, including advanced stages, rare types, and cases that resist standard cancer therapeutic approaches.

At Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology, we see firsthand how innovative treatments can lead to cancer remission. Our therapies include targeted protocols to destroy cancer cells as well as immune enhancement that boosts the body’s existing cancer-killing capabilities.

The fight against cancer still has a long path ahead, but awareness and research are making inroads. Contact Issels® to learn more about our non-toxic immunotherapy cancer treatment.