For decades, cancer has been the main focus of innumerable medical researchers. During 2016, immunotherapy for cancer was designated the top advance in the field for the second consecutive year.
The Rapid Rise of Immunotherapy Treatment
The announcement was made in Clinical Cancer Advances 2017, the 12th annual report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Dr. Daniel F. Hayes, president of ASCO, presented the report to Congress during a recent meeting to request continued funding for cancer research.
According to Dr. Hayes, immunotherapy was a “promising theoretical treatment” less than 10 years ago. In a relatively short span of time, it has become a “standard of care” that has positively affected thousands of patients.
Just how much progress has been made in immunotherapy for cancer? Since 2011, a total of 15 immune-targeted therapies have been approved. That success combined with continued improvements in identifying candidates and overcoming resistance mechanisms, led ASCO to dub it “Immunotherapy 2.0.”
Dr. Hayes also stressed the importance of federal funding in maintaining the momentum in cancer research. One prominent development that has made a significant impact is the Cancer Moonshot program. Former Vice President Joe Biden took up the cause after his son Beau’s death from brain cancer.
Issels®: Ahead of the Curve
While the rest of the medical community is embracing the value of immunotherapy for cancer, we have been in the forefront of successfully treating patients by boosting their own immune systems. Visit our website to learn more about cancer vaccines, NK cells and our other non-toxic, individually tailored programs.
Vaccines have played a landmark role in medical history, helping to control or eradicate major diseases such as smallpox, measles, flu and polio. This effective form of treatment is also a significant part of our Issels® integrative immunotherapy for cancer programs.
How Do Vaccines Work?
The science behind vaccines may sound counterintuitive. Many vaccines are made from a weakened form of the microorganism that it’s being developed to fight. Once introduced into your system, the vaccines “teach” your immune system to recognize the microorganism as a threat to be attacked and destroyed.
The Issels® Vaccine Program
Our personalized cancer vaccines and cell therapy protocols are created from the patient’s own immune cells and combined with the immunobologic core treatment to target the tumor and its specific microenvironment to optimize their results.
We offer specialized cancer vaccines at the Issels® immuno-oncology center, including Autologous Dendritic Cells Cancer Vaccine, Prostate Cancer Vaccine, as well as the Issels Autologous Vaccine and combine them with the Lymphokine-Activated Killer (LAK) Cell and Natural Killer (NK) Cell protocols.
These vaccines and cell therapies are autologous, meaning they are created from the patient’s own blood. Since the blood cells provide information about the patient’s internal environment, the vaccines can be tailored to target the patient’s unique cancer-fighting properties.
Immunotherapy for Cancer: Boosting Your Body’s Natural Defenses
Cancer vaccines are only one of the non-toxic protocols we use to activate your body’s own immune response against tumors. Contact us today to learn why Issels® has been a leader in immunotherapy for cancer treatments for more than 50 years.
As part of the American Cancer Society’s initiative to eliminate cancer, they have funded research by some of the most brilliant minds in the medical field. Among the 46 ACS-funded scientists who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize is a doctor who did groundbreaking work involving dendritic cell therapy.
Top Scientists Go to Bat for ACS
Immunotherapy for cancer received a major boost when Dr. Ralph M. Steinman of Rockefeller University discovered the dendritic cell, which plays a vital role in the function of the immune system. Dendritic cells trigger responses in T cells, allowing them to more effectively target invading cancer cells.
Dr. Bruce A. Beutler, professor of genetics and immunology at Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, is another Nobel laureate who received a grant from ACS. Along with his colleague Jules Hoffman, head of a laboratory in Strasburg, France, Dr. Beutler conducted extensive research concerning innate immunity, which is the body’s first line of defense against cancer cells and other invaders.
ACS Grants Lead to Improved Cancer Treatments
Dr. Stein’s work led to the development of Provenge, a prostate cancer vaccine that has become a valuable part of immunotherapy for cancer. The findings of Dr. Beutler could ultimately result in more effective treatments for cancer as well as rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
Issels® Offers State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy for Cancer
Cancer vaccines are just one of the advanced non-toxic therapies used at our Issels® center. Contact us to learn more about how our personalized immunotherapy protocols have helped patients with all forms of cancer, including leukemia, melanoma and breast cancer.
Part of the success of cancer vaccines lies in their ability to target the tumor microenvironment along with the tumor itself. A recent breakthrough shows similar promise as a way to cut off the energy molecules that fuel the growth of cancer cells.
A research team led by Dr. Atsuo Sasaki, an assistant professor at the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine, discovered that an enzyme called PI5PK4ß acts as a virtual “arrow on a fuel gauge” with regard to cancer growth. The enzyme functions by sensing available amounts of energy and communicating that information to cancer cells.
Until now, the identity of such a molecular sensor remained unknown. In fact, Dr. Sasaki and his associates initially met with skepticism regarding their study, which has since been published in Molecular Cell.
Cells are fueled by two types of energy molecules. Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, provides most of the necessary energy. Guanosine triphosphate, referred to as GTP, is used to synthesize protein and also acts as a traffic cop directing various cellular processes.
PI5PK4ß acts as a GTP sensor by recognizing and binding itself to the molecules. Dr. Sasaki’s team was able to interrupt the process by designing mutant PI5PK4ß cells that lacked the ability to detect GTP. According to Dr. Sasaki, their hope is to use this discovery to develop a means of cutting off this energy source from cancer cells.
Cancer vaccines are only one of the tools available in our Issels® integrative immunotherapy programs. Visit our website for more details about our individualized treatment protocols as well as testimonials from our patients.
Cytokines are certain substances secreted by specific cells in your body’s immune system. These substances carry the signals that allow cells to communicate with each other. Cytokines may be proteins, peptides or glycoproteins and can interact with your immune system in both positive and negative ways.
What Cytokines Do
Cytokines may act to either enhance or suppress your immune system. Their impact on cell function may be felt locally or at a distance in another part of your body. Despite such functional differences, all cytokines share in the direction of your body’s immune response.
It is that ability to impact the functioning of your immune system that makes cytokines such an important factor in cancer treatment. By manipulating cytokines, integrative immunotherapy seeks to modify the dialog between cells. By changing the way cells interact, the goal of integrative immunotherapy is to remove impediments to a healthy immune system and amplify the body’s immune system response.
Using Cytokines in Cancer Treatment
Certain cancer drugs and cancer vaccines have been found to have a noticeable impact on cytokine production. Using vaccines to increase the presence of specific biologic response modifiers such as Interleukin-2 — which the body creates naturally but only in small amounts — floods the body with cancer fighting T-cells and Natural Killer Cells. This sudden influx of immune system-supporting cytokines significantly enhances your immune system’s response, giving it extra power to fight off cancer cells.
Over 60 years of clinical experience, Issels Integrative Oncology has found similar cancer-fighting benefits in other cytokines such as Interleukin-4, which promotes the generation of dendritic cells, and Interleukin-21, which enhances Natural Killer Cell activity. Visit our website for more information.
“When Angelina Jolie learns she has a breast cancer gene, we don’t know what else to do, so we cut her breasts off,” Dr. Susan Love, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, recently told USA Today. “We have to be looking for the cause. I worry that we don’t, that we’re paying too much attention to the treatment, which comes with a huge cost.”
Interviewed about the new U.S. push to develop a breast cancer vaccine, Dr. Love was voicing the frustration many feel about the focus of U.S. cancer research and treatment. Appearing to lag their European peers, U.S. cancer researchers are only now recognizing the importance of immunotherapy in treating cancer. Jumping on the bandwagon, many U.S. university centers are exploring immunotherapy’s holistic, non-toxic approach to cancer treatment and beginning to offer trials of dendritic cell vaccines. Issels already has more than half a century of clinical experience with immunotherapy and years of proven experience using dendritic cell vaccines.
At the University of Pennsylvania, doctors recently began testing personalized cancer vaccines made with the patient’s own immune cells. As noted in the USA Today article, in the Pennsylvania test women with an early cancerous condition called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are being inoculated with an immunotherapy vaccine following surgical removal of breast tumors. It is hoped that the vaccination will prevent tumor recurrence; but trial participants will have to wait years before they know if the vaccine is effective.