Tag Archives: Immuno-Oncology

Swiss Group Studies Dendritic Cell Vaccines with Artificial Receptors

New Cancer Research Is Improving Treatment
New Cancer Research Is Improving Treatment

One of the challenges doctors face with cancer treatment is designing a program to meet a patient’s unique needs. Immunotherapy for cancer is helping to provide solutions to this problem, such as recent improvements to dendritic cell vaccines.

Immunotherapy: Priming the Body’s Immune System

While the body’s immune system is extremely capable when it comes to fighting viruses, bacteria and other invaders, cancer cells often demonstrate a remarkable ability to evade detection. Immunotherapy works by enhancing the immune system’s power to target and destroy cancer cells.

Dendritic cells are one of the immune system’s “messengers” that present antigens to killer T-cells for destruction. Researchers in Switzerland began looking for a way to improve the effectiveness of dendritic cell vaccines.

Helping the Immune System Recognize Cancer Cells

Prof. Michele De Palma and his team created artificial receptors known as EVIRs, which are inserted in dendritic cells extracted from a patient. Once reintroduced into the patient’s system, the EVIRs are engineered to recognize exosomes that transport molecules between cells, sometimes assisting in the spread of cancer.

As EVIRs capture exosomes, it allows dendritic cells to present antigens on their outer surface, simplifying recognition and attack by killer T-cells. De Palma and his team have dubbed this phenomenon “cross-dressing,” and they’re hoping that the process will improve the specificity of cancer treatment.

Issels®: A Successful Legacy of Immunotherapy for Cancer

At Issels®, we are exclusively focused on immunotherapy for cancer with patients who have advanced or therapy-resistant cancers. Contact us to learn more about our dendritic cell vaccines and other non-toxic, personally tailored immunotherapy treatment programs.

New Understanding of High-Risk Neuroblastoma from Massachusetts Research

Issels the Premier Provider of Immuno Oncology
Issels the Premier Provider of Immuno Oncology

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that affects primarily infants and children. Thanks to a Massachusetts-based research team, there is now more information about the growth of neuroblastoma that will aid the development of more effective cancer treatment.

“Hijacking” Healthy Cells

Neuroblastoma gets its name from neuroblasts, which are immature cells where this form of cancer develops. For this study, researchers focused on MYCN and c-MYC, two related proteins that have been linked to neuroblastoma’s progression.

In studying tumors from 123 neuroblastoma patients, the team discovered that 25 percent had MYCN applications and another 10 percent showed overexpression of c-MYC. While the groups didn’t overlap, both showed similarly poor survival rates.

Scientists then conducted a study with zebrafish and determined that c-MYC is a more powerful oncogene (a gene that has the potential to turn a normal cell cancerous) than MYCN, Results showed that c-MYC overexpression has a greater chance of creating neuroblastoma along with a shorter onset time.

Debut of 3D Genomics

Another exciting aspect of this study is that it was the first use of 3D genomics. A technology known as Hi-C, or in situ chromosome conformation capture, helps researchers study genomic interactions to identify abnormalities.

Since c-MYC can be detected in the clinic, scientists are hoping that they’ll eventually be able to develop a new cancer treatment that targets and degrades the protein.

Personally Tailored Cancer Treatment Programs from Issels®

Just as all people are individuals, so too are all cases of cancer different. We use targeted therapies and other treatments to address the specific needs of each patient. Contact us for more information.

Using Viruses to Boost the Immune Response in Immunotherapy

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

When it comes to your health, viruses are usually thought of as something to avoid. New studies have shown that infecting tumors with viruses can actually boost the beneficial effects of immunotherapy for cancer.

Helping the Immune System Target Tumors

Your body’s immune system is the primary line of defense against invading cells. One of the barriers to successful cancer treatment has been the ability of cancer cells to evade detection, leaving them free to grow unchecked.

On the other hand, the immune system has an excellent ability to recognize viruses. Two separate studies show evidence that cancer-targeting viruses might be able to trigger an immune attack on tumors.

– A team in England injected nine brain tumor patients with a cancer-seeking virus. After the tumors were surgically removed, researchers discovered that the viruses had indeed reached their target, and there were signs that the viral infection caused an immune response.

– Researchers in Canada performed similar tests on mice with breast cancer. The virus was injected directly into the tumors, and while it had little effect on survival rates, the infected mice had fewer instances of tumors spreading.

Viruses and Immunotherapy for Cancer

Professor John Bell, senior author of the latter study, explained that the virus “raises a big red flag” to alert the immune system. He went on to say that the addition of a checkpoint inhibitor enables a full-force immune attack.

State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy Treatments at Issels®

The non-toxic, individually developed immunotherapy for cancer treatments at Issels® are directed at enhancing the power of your own immune system. Contact us to learn more about our integrative programs.

Immunotherapy May Now Be Possible for Some HIV Positive Patients

Targeted Immunotherapy May Now Be Possible
Targeted Immunotherapy May Now Be Possible for Some HIV Patients Who Have Cancer

Even though cancer is a major cause of death for patients with HIV, their compromised immune systems have been a barrier to immunotherapy for cancer treatments. A recent study shows that immunotherapy may be safer for HIV patients than was previously thought.

Is Immunotherapy for Cancer Compatible with HIV-Positive Patients?

Although HIV patients have routinely been excluded from immunotherapy research, results of a clinical trial involving them were presented at last fall’s meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy for Cancer. The study included 17 HIV-positive patients with advanced cancers of various forms.

Patients in the trial were treated with Keytruda, a checkpoint inhibitor approved for use with melanoma, lung cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a number of other cancers. Results showed that Keytruda had a positive effect on the patients.

Continuing Research into HIV-Positive Patients and Immunotherapy

The one exception was Kaposi sarcoma (KSHV), a viral form of cancer associated with HIV and immune system disorders. Kaposi sarcoma patients in the trial did not experience the same benefits as others, so the study has been amended to exclude those with symptomatic KSHV.

According to team member Dr. Thomas Uldrick, further research is needed with immunotherapy and KSHV patients, but it doesn’t negate the overall message that immunotherapy can be safe for HIV patients. The National Cancer Institute also recommends the inclusion of HIV patients in clinical immunotherapy trials.

Issels®: Defeating Advanced Cancer with Immunotherapy

Our individually tailored immunotherapy for cancer treatments have helped patients achieve long-term remission, even in cases where traditional treatments have failed. Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines and other non-toxic treatments at Issels®.

NIH Embraces Immunotherapy as a Top Cancer Treatment

NIH Embraces Immunotherapy as a Top Cancer Treatment
NIH Embraces Immunotherapy as a Top Cancer Treatment

The National Institutes of Health has named immunotherapy as a top form of cancer treatment. In the past, chemotherapy and radiation were typically the main types of cancer treatments that the NIH focused on. However, research findings and treatment advances have led to an increase in the demand for immunotherapy for cancer.

Fighting Cancer with the Immune System

Immunotherapy relies on the body’s immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells before they have a chance to spread. This type of treatment focuses on strengthening natural immune defenses against cancer rather than targeting and destroying cancer with radiation or chemotherapy. This helps protect healthy cells from damage and lowers the risk of nausea and other potentially severe side effects.

Advances in Immunotherapy

Advances in immunotherapy for cancer have led to significant improvements in this type of treatment, which has resulted in a higher number of successes for those with certain types of cancer. Researchers are also doing studies to find out more about immunotherapy in order to provide more and more cancer patients with effective treatment.

Current research has been focusing on why this type of treatment works better for some patients, what other kinds of cancer it can be used for, and how to make it more effective when used in combination with other forms of cancer treatment. These findings should lead to even more successes for immunotherapy.

If you’re interested in learning more about how immunotherapy for cancer works, please contact Issels®. Our cancer treatments are nontoxic and can be effective for certain cancers that are difficult to treat.

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.