Tag Archives: Cancer Research Advancement

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.

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

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.