Tag Archives: Immuno-Oncology

Highlighting a DNA-Based Lymphoma Treatment

Highlighting a DNA-Based Lymphoma Treatment
Highlighting a DNA-Based Lymphoma Treatment

One of the benefits of cancer immunotherapy is that it can offer options for patients when other treatments have failed. Doctors are having success with a new DNA-based treatment for certain forms of lymphoma.

CAR T-cell Therapy and Lymphoma

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (or CAR T-cell therapy) may sound complicated, but the basic principle is simple. CAR T-cell therapy, like most types of cancer immunotherapy, works by boosting the ability of a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.

With this procedure, T-cells are harvested from a patient and genetically engineered to produce surface receptors. The T-cells are then reintroduced into the patient’s system, where the receptors target a specific protein expressed by the lymphoma cells.

Dimas Padilla, a 44-year-old man from Orlando whose lymphoma had returned for a third time, was one of the 101 patients involved in a test of CAR T-cell therapy. Approximately half of the group experienced complete remission. Padilla himself has been tumor-free for 18 months.

Yescarta Wins FDA Approval

In October 2017, the FDA approved this treatment under the trade name Yescarta for use with certain types of B-cell lymphoma. This is only the second gene therapy to pass FDA approval, but at this point usage is restricted to patients who have unsuccessfully undergone at least two other forms of treatment.

Issels®: Personally Developed Cancer Immunotherapy for All Patients

No two cases of cancer are the same. Our non-toxic immunotherapy programs are created to meet each patient’s needs, even if previous treatments have failed. Contact us to learn how we have helped numerous patients achieve long-term remission.

New Research: Computer Modeling and New Drugs to Deactivate Metastasized Breast Cancer in the Brain

Computer Modeling and New Drugs to Deactivate Metastasized Breast Cancer in the Brain
Computer Modeling and New Drugs to Deactivate Metastasized Breast Cancer in the Brain

Bringing a new immuno oncology drug to market is an expensive and time-consuming proposition. A team of researchers is trying to expedite the process, using computer modeling to find a drug that treats metastasized breast cancer.

Can One Drug Fight Two Types of Cancer?

Triple negative breast cancer is the most difficult form to treat. Once the cancer metastasizes to the brain, survival time is generally shorter. Scientists at Houston Methodist analyzed thousands of current drugs in search of one that could prevent metastasis.

The team’s efforts paid off when they hit on edelfosine, a drug which is FDA-approved for investigational leukemia treatment. Edelfosine has also been the subject of clinical research for primary brain tumors.

In a study to test the discovery, mice were injected with triple negative breast cancer stem cells obtained from patients. The cancer cells metastasized to the brain, but treatment with edelfosine prevented the cells from further growth.

A “Game-Changer” in Immuno Oncology

Dr. Stephen T. Wong, one of the study’s authors, referred to the concept of repurposing drug compounds to prevent metastatic brain cancer as a “game-changer.” In past research, Wong and his co-workers have discovered other drugs that are being repurposed in clinical trials.

The study’s co-author, Dr. Hong Zhao, said they hope to move edelfosine to a phase II clinical study within the next few years. In addition, scientists want to investigate use of the compound on other forms of cancer.

Issels®: Successful Treatment of Therapy-Resistant Cancer

Issels® has long been ahead of the curve with non-toxic, individually created immuno oncology treatment programs. Contact us for more information.

Coley’s Toxin – the First Immunotherapy?

Coley's Toxin - the First Immunotherapy?
Coley’s Toxin – the First Immunotherapy?

When it comes to cancer treatment, immunotherapy is a hot buzzword right now, but it may not be as new as it seems. Many scientists believe that the first immunotherapy treatments date back to the late 1800s.

Coley’s Toxins: The Original Immunotherapy?

William Coley, a surgeon in turn-of-the-century New York, made a peculiar discovery about one of his patients. Fred Stein, who had been diagnosed with cancer, began making a recovery after contracting a serious infection.

Dr. Coley thought that perhaps bacteria from the infection jump-started Stein’s immune system, causing it to attack the tumors. This experience inspired the doctor to begin treating inoperable cancer patients with bacterial injections that came to be known as Coley’s toxins.

While Coley’s treatments did achieve some success, there was little documentation to support his findings. As a result, the doctor’s peers continued to favor radiation and chemotherapy as cancer treatments of choice.

A Man Ahead of His Time

For all intents and purposes, Dr. Coley’s methods died with him in 1936. Now, more than 80 years later, immunotherapy cancer treatment is “here to stay,” according to Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, chief executive of the Cancer Research Institute.

Immunotherapies known as checkpoint inhibitors are some of the top-selling drugs around the world. Checkpoint inhibitors follow Dr. Coley’s principle of boosting the body’s own immune response.

Dr. Josef M. Issels: A Pioneer of Immunotherapy

We’re proud to carry on the legacy of our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, who was also an early proponent of immunotherapy cancer treatment. Contact Issels® for more information about our individually created immunotherapy programs.

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.