Tag Archives: Immuno-Oncology

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.

Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment

Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment
Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment

The problem with traditional cancer treatments is that they attack healthy cells along with diseased cells, which results in serious side effects such as fatigue and hair loss. Doctors are encouraged by the success of a new cancer treatment that zeroes in on the cancer cells.

The “Next Revolution in Cancer Therapy”

Molecularly targeted therapy is being hailed as the next big step in cancer treatment. These new drugs are designed at the molecular level to attack the diseased cells of a specific type of cancer. In addition, they can identify specific molecules that are part of specific cancers.

The drugs are created by a process that is the reverse of how most cancer drugs are developed. Scientists identify an abnormal molecule that’s unique to a particular type of cancer, then design a drug that shuts down its activity.

Gleevec: Paving the Way

Novartis Pharmaceuticals has developed Gleevec, also known as STI571, which is leading the way for molecularly targeted therapy. Gleevec is used for chronic myeloid leukemia, or CML, which is a rare form of the disease characterized by excessive production of white blood cells.

Researchers discovered that Gleevec is also effective against GIST, a rare gastrointestinal cancer. GIST features a unique enzyme related to the original target enzyme in CML.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Gene-targeted therapies, including Gleevec, Tamoxifen and Avastin, are a significant part of our personalized treatment programs. Issels® also uses non-toxic immunotherapy treatments that boost the immune system’s ability to target tumor cells.

Contact us today for more information about our decades of success in helping patients achieve long-term remission.

Gut Bacteria Appears to Influence Whether or Not Cancer Tumors Will Shrink During Cancer Treatment

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

Bacteria is generally considered to be the cause of disease and infection, but many varieties have beneficial properties. Scientists are discovering that “good” bacteria living inside of us can have positive implications for cancer treatment.

How Can Bacteria Be “Good?”

The microbiome is a collection of microscopic organisms found inside our bodies, primarily in the gut. These organisms play a role in the digestive process and help to regulate the immune system.

Researchers in France and the United States conducted separate studies involving the microbiome of cancer patients. All participants were receiving immunotherapy treatment, which boosts the ability of the immune system to fight cancer cells.

The Relationship Between Gut Bacteria and Cancer Treatment

The team at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus in Paris studied 249 patients with lung or kidney cancer.

– Participants who had taken antibiotics, which disturb the microbiome, were more likely to experience tumor growth, even during treatment.

– A bacteria species known as A. muciniphila was found in two-thirds of patients who responded to immunotherapy, as opposed to only one-third of those who did not.

At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a team analyzed the microbiome of 112 patients with advanced melanoma.

– Patients who responded to cancer treatment were found to have a more rich and varied microbiome than those who didn’t.

– The composition of the microbiome also appeared to be significant, as higher levels of certain bacteria were associated with positive responses while others had negative impacts.

Innovative Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Our immunotherapy programs focus on cancer cells as well as the internal environment that supports them. Contact us for more information.

CAR T-Cells May Be an Effective Immunotherapy for Multiple Myeloma

Is Issels Genomic Testing for Personalized Treatment For You
Is Issels Genomic Testing for Personalized Treatment For You?

Researchers have been focusing on CAR T-cells as the basis for a promising immunotherapy cancer treatment. Recent trials show encouraging results for the use of CAR T-cells in fighting advanced multiple myeloma.

CAR T Cells: A New Approach in Cancer Treatment

Scientists are excited about CAR T-cell therapy because it uses a patient’s own immune cells to treat cancer. The cells are gathered from the patient’s blood, engineered to produce chimeric-antigen receptors (CARs), and multiplied in the lab to reach quantities in the billions.

At that point, the cells are reintroduced into the patient’s bloodstream, to where they attach themselves to specific targets on cancer cells. CAR T-cell products, currently awaiting FDA approval, target the CD19 antigen in leukemia and lymphoma.

Can CAR T-Cells Treat Different Cancers?

Two CAR T-cell trials were recently conducted in the United States and China. Results were presented last June at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

Both trials examined the use of CAR T-cells that target B-cell maturation antigens (BCMA), which are proteins found in myeloma cells. Most of the patients in the studies achieved positive results, with many experiencing complete remission.

CAR T-cell research is still in the early stages. Testing will continue to validate these findings and determine whether CAR T-cell therapy is a viable treatment method for cancer patients.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Immunotherapy

We have a history of successful use of vaccines, NK cells and other cancer treatment methods. Contact us to learn more about why Issels® is the leader in personally developed immunotherapy programs.

Immunotherapy: A “Fundamental Change” in Cancer Treatment

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

As medical researchers have waged a decades-long battle to find a cure for cancer, the possibility of using a patient’s own immune system to fight tumors has been an exciting but unattainable dream. Today that dream is becoming reality with immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

“The Medical Equivalent of Splitting the Atom”

Traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are designed to attack tumors directly. In contrast, immunotherapy aims to boost the power of a patient’s own immune system to battle cancer.

Dr. Jedd Wolchok, chief of melanoma and immunotherapeutics services at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, refers to immunotherapy as a “fundamental change” in the approach to cancer treatment. Billions of dollars are being invested to fund hundreds of trials in which cancer patients anxiously plead to participate.

How Does Immunotherapy Work?

Your immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues and biochemicals that protect your body against illnesses caused by viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances. Cancer is particularly stubborn because it often evades detection by the immune system, allowing tumors to grew unchecked.

Immunotherapy comes in two basic forms:

  • Immune cells are removed from a patient, reprogrammed to fight cancer cells, and returned back into the patient’s bloodstream.
  • Checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that block the mechanisms used by cancer cells to shut down the immune system.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Our founder, Dr. Josef Issels, was a pioneer in the development of immunotherapy, and we’re proud to continue his legacy of helping patients successfully fight cancer. Contact us to learn more about our innovative programs of individually tailored cancer treatments.