Tag Archives: Center for Immuno-Oncology

The Issels Story – a Focus on Immunotherapy

Another Step in Stopping Cancer
We Are Dedicated to Stopping Cancer

Immunotherapy for cancer has been a hot topic in the news lately, but the methods are far from new. Our founder, Dr. Josef Issels, was a pioneer in the field of integrative immuno-oncology dating back to the mid-20th century.

Josef Issels: A Life Dedicated to Fighting Cancer

Dr. Issels began his trailblazing path in 1948, conducting extensive research on the causes of cancer while working in his native Germany. His studies focused on the role of the immune system in fighting cancer as well as microbial aspects of the disease.

In 1951, Dr. Issels founded the first hospital in the world devoted exclusively to integrative immunotherapy, focusing on patients for whom traditional treatments had failed. The revolutionary Issels program went above and beyond standard tumor-centered treatments, and many patients experienced partial or total long-term remission.

As the integrative procedures developed by Dr. Issels continued to generate successful results, the hospital added 35 beds in 1970 for a total of 125. The scope of research also expanded to include programs such as vaccines, hypothermia and mycoplasma.

After Dr. Issels retired, he brought his innovative immuno-oncology programs to America. Since his death in 1998, his wife, Ilse Marie, has continued his work alongside their sons, Christian and Hellmut. The trio has maintained the same dedication and level of excellence set forth by Dr. Issels.

Issels® Continues to Lead the Way in Immunotherapy for Cancer

Nearly 70 years later, our patients continue to benefit from the foresight and tireless work of Josef Issels. Contact us for more information about our state-of-the-art programs that are personally tailored to meet each patient’s specific needs.

What’s Happening in Immunotherapy Research – Part Two

Advances in Cancer Therapies
Advances in Cancer Therapies

There’s so much exciting news in research involving immunotherapy for cancer that we couldn’t cover it all in one post! Here’s a continuation of our look at new and improved ways scientists are finding to fight cancer.

Cancer Vaccines

Vaccines have long been a promising form of treatment for cancer. One roadblock limiting progress is the ability of cancer cells to fly under the radar of the immune system.

Armed with a growing body of knowledge gained through years of research, scientists are finding methods to boost the effectiveness of vaccines. For example, vaccines are sometimes given in tandem with substances called adjuvants that make the immune response more efficient.

Checkpoint Inhibitors

You may have seen advertisements for products such as nivolumab, which is referred to as an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Cancer cells often elude the immune system by “hiding” behind checkpoint proteins that prevent immune responses against normal cells. Inhibitors target the checkpoints, freeing the immune system to attack cancer cells.

Oncolytic Viruses

Viruses are normally something to avoid, but researchers have found ways to harness their ability to infect and kill cells. Specific modifications alter certain viruses, creating oncolytic viruses that direct their attacks toward cancer cells, while also alerting the immune system to take action.

Is Immunotherapy for Cancer the Answer for You?

For years, Issels® has been a leader in immunotherapy treatments such as cancer vaccines and gene-targeted therapies. Contact us for more information about our non-toxic immunotherapy programs and how they are individually tailored to meet your specific needs.

What’s Happening in Immunotherapy Research – Part One

What's New in Immunotherapy
What’s New in Immunotherapy

As immunotherapy for cancer continues to gain traction in the medical community, researchers around the globe are directing their efforts toward finding new treatment methods and improving existing ones. Here’s a look at some of the exciting developments in immunotherapy treatments that are making news today.

Refining Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, are proteins that take advantage of the difference between cancer cells and normal cells. Scientists are exploring ways to make mAbs even more powerful, such as attaching them to drugs or other substances, while making them less likely to trigger an immune response. They are also working on combining mAbs for a more focused attack on tumors.

CAR T-Cells

T-cells, which are part of the immune system, have long been a major subject of immunotherapy research. Recent trials involve removing T-cells from a patient, genetically adding CARs (chimeric antigen receptors), then returning them to the patient’s blood, where they can more precisely target cancer cells. This method has shown particularly promising results in cases featuring advanced forms of leukemia and lymphoma.

Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes

Another approach using T-cells centers on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) found deep within tumors. The TILs are removed from tumor samples and treated with interleukin-2 so they multiply rapidly. Once injected back into the patient, the TILs are better equipped to fight cancer cells.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Immunotherapy Treatments

In our next post, we’ll continue our look at the latest updates on research centering on immunotherapy for cancer. Contact us to learn more about how Issels® has been a leader in personalized, non-toxic immunotherapy protocols.

July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, Will You Be Wearing the Yellow Ribbon?

New Immunotherapy Drug Can Help Fight Bladder Cancer
New Immunotherapy Drug Can Help Fight Bladder Cancer

If you or someone you love has received a diagnosis of bladder cancer or is in stage four and have exhausted treatment options, NBC news reports that there may be new hope for immunotherapy treatment for bladder cancer. This information is timely as July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.

Immunotherapy treatments

Immunotherapy for bladder cancer works by treating a person’s immune system so it has the ability to fight cancer.

According to the NBC news article, “more successful approaches, involve training immune cells to recognize a patient’s specific tumors, or finding and amplifying a patient’s own tumor-specific immune cells.” Immunotherapy now appears to be the best course of cancer treatment for many patients.

New drug, new hope

Hope now lies in a drug newly-approved by the FDA called atezolizumab (brand name Tecentriq) that boosts the immune system to slow the spread of tumors in patients in the advanced stages of bladder cancer. It’s the latest development in immunotherapy for bladder cancer treatments and it has shown promising results.

In a study of 119 patients who received the drug as treatment revealed that growth stopped in the tumors in 24% of those patients in the advanced stages of bladder cancer. The drug also shrank the tumors by 30%. According to the research team, 21 of the original patients from 2014 who received the immunotherapy for bladder cancer are still in remission today.

Learn more about our non-toxic immunotherapy for bladder cancer by contacting Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology.

Non-Toxic Agent Makes Cancer Cells Glow

Thermal Treatment
Making the Cancer Glow

When you’re looking for small objects in a dark, confined area, your first step is turning on a light. Recent cancer research has uncovered a non-toxic chemical compound with the ability to “turn on the light” that reveals cancer cells.

Breakthrough testing

The study, conducted at Oregon State University, was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists last October. Researchers injected a substance called silicon napthalocyanine into mice suffering from ovarian tumors. After 24 hours, the chemical had been absorbed by the tumors but was not present in the rest of the body.

Tumors were completely eradicated, and researchers detected no side effects. They are optimistic about the compound working on other types of tumors as well.

“Glow in the dark” cancer cells

Once the compound has been absorbed by a tumor, it causes cancer cells to glow when illuminated with near-infrared light. The effect makes it easier for surgeons to find and remove the cells more effectively, while a chemical reaction combining heat and oxygen kills any remaining cells.

Olena Taratula, lead author of the OSU study, explained that the research demonstrates proof of concept they hope to expand on with further experiments. Next on the researchers’ agenda is developing a system whereby the compound would actually seek out cancer cells. The next round of testing would involve dogs, possibly followed by clinical trials on humans.

Our experienced staff of medical professionals actively works to remain up-to-date on the latest and most innovative cancer research. Contact us to learn why Issels® is a leader in non-toxic integrative immuno-oncology treatments.

Cancer Patient Tip: Focus on Improving Your Quality of Life

Four hands of the family,  a baby, a daughter,  a mother and a father. Concept of unity, support, protection and happiness.
Use Your Support Network to Care for Yourself

When you’re fighting cancer, your physical well-being can consume your focus to the exclusion of your emotional self. Improving your quality of life helps you maintain a positive frame of mind that can have a beneficial effect on your overall health. Use these tips to nurture yourself and enrich your spirit. 

Ask for support 

Despite what you may have seen in movies or read in novels, suffering in silence is not a noble attitude. Your loved ones want to help, but may not know how. Sharing your specific needs with them is a relief, not a burden.

Retain control wherever possible

Cancer creates a sense of helplessness, making you feel as though you’re at the mercy of this foreign being. Work with your doctor and caregiver to develop lifestyle modifications allowing you to maintain as much control as you are comfortable with. 

Talk to others who have been there

Even if you have a caring network of friends and family, cancer can make you feel isolated and “different.” Join support groups where you can share your deepest thoughts without fear of judgment and benefit from the wisdom of those who have shared your experience.  

Learn to relax

The idea of learning to relax may seem strange, but the stress of living with cancer can make you forget where your “off switch” is. Music, reading, meditation and light physical activity are just some of the methods you can use to decompress.

Our non-toxic immuno-oncology therapies work with your body’s own immune system, reducing side effects that can be physically and emotionally draining. Contact us to learn more about our personalized treatments.