Tag Archives: Immunotherapy for Cancer

Treatment Uses Patient’s Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Treatment Uses Patient's Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer
Treatment Uses Patient’s Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Scientists are hopeful that a new gene therapy cancer treatment will lead to development of other drugs that utilize the power of a patient’s own immune system. In the meantime, policy makers face the challenges of safety, cost and access.

“Training” the Immune System to Fight Cancer

The therapy in question, called Kymriah, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2017. Novartis developed Kymriah as a cancer treatment for children and young adults with a type of leukemia known as ALL.

Kymriah is a form of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell treatment. A patient’s T cells are genetically reengineered and infused back into the patient’s system to attack and kill cancer cells.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

During clinical trials conducted by Novartis, 63 patients received a one-time infusion of CAR T cells. After three months, 52 of the patients were in remission.

The downside is that 76 percent of the patients experienced a variety of side effects. In order to determine the overall risk vs. reward factor, the FDA has required Novartis to perform a post-marketing study of Kymriah’s safety and effectiveness.

An article published in the October issue of Health Affairs noted that high demand and high cost of CAR T cell therapies could lead to greater inequalities in health outcomes. The authors urged ethics and policy-making to catch up to the science of cancer treatment.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Cancer Immunotherapy

Issels® has long been ahead of the field in successful use of cancer treatment that aids the immune system in targeting tumor cells. Contact us for more information.

New Treatment Breaches Blood Barrier for Treatment of Glioblastoma

New Research is Helping to Understand Brain Cancer
New Research is Helping to Understand Brain Cancer

Brain tumors are notoriously resistant to most types of cancer treatment. Scientists have recently discovered that a drug that targets one form of cancer may also have applications for treating brain tumors.

Why Brain Tumors Are Difficult to Treat

Despite improvement in overall cancer survival rates, the numbers for brain cancer remain low. Scientists attribute this to the blood brain barrier, which is a natural filter that prevents drugs from reaching the tumors.

In a study funded by Cancer Research UK, scientists recruited 48 patients with glioblastoma, a particularly stubborn form of brain cancer, that had returned after treatment. The patients were given olaparib, a PARP inhibitor used to treat ovarian cancer, in conjunction with temozolomide, a chemotherapy drug.

After treatment, the research team examined tumor cells and found that the drug had penetrated the core of the tumor as well as cancer cells in surrounding areas. The results were significant because surgery is not possible for this form of tumor, so cancer treatment options are limited.

New Hope for Brain Tumor Treatment

According to lead researcher Professor Anthony Chalmers, glioblastoma disturbs the blood brain barrier, allowing olaparib to reach the tumor cells. Chalmers believes that scientists will be able to build on the results of the study to improve the effectiveness of current treatments.

Professor Susan Short of the National Cancer Research Institute adds that the study shows the potential of PARP inhibitors to treat a wide range of cancer types.

Cancer Treatment for Therapy-Resistant Cancers

Issels® has helped numerous patients with stage IV cancer achieve long-term remission. Contact us for details about our non-toxic cancer immunotherapy programs.

Colon Cancer and Crohns Disease Share a Link Between Inflammation and a Cellular Process

New Research Is Unlocking the Mystery of Cancer
New Research Is Unlocking the Mystery of Cancer

Here at Issels®, it’s always exciting when we learn of new breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Research that was done by the University of Warwick shows that colon cancer (among other gut-related illnesses) could be better treated, or even prevented.

Understanding the Gut Process

Science has uncovered a lot of new information regarding the role of the gut in maintaining good health. For example, the process of autophagy triggers cells to break down damaging materials in the gut. These materials are then eliminated or re-used within the body. When this process malfunctions, it can lead to chronic diseases that impact your health. Inflammation is to blame, leading to colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other serious diseases.

Avoiding and Treating Colon Cancer

The foods we eat play a major role in maintaining good gut health. There are several that can activate autophagy, even when it is currently in a dysfunctional state. These foods include:

– Pomegranates

– Mushrooms

– Soybeans

– Green peas

– Red grapes

– Pears

This research has shown that the human body doesn’t always have the proper mix of amino acids necessary to keep autophagy in a functional state all of the time. However, more research is needed to better understand this important process. This may lead scientists to discover new forms of cancer treatment, perhaps even in the near future. So far, they’ve found that the addition of a protein called Kenny can be added, which includes the correct amino acids profile.

Immunotherapy as Cancer Treatment

Here at Issels®, we’re always looking for advancements in immunotherapy for treating cancer. If you’ve recently been diagnosed, please contact us today. We can help with recovery.

Immunotherapy the Cancer Treatment Disrupter

Join Us in the Fight Cancer
Join Us in the Fight Against Cancer

During the last few years, respected political leaders Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter have become active in raising awareness of cancer immunotherapy and the need for research. Now a major figure in the social media and technology field has added his voice and his funding to these efforts.

From Social Networking to Social Responsibility

Sean Parker first made his name as the founder of music-sharing service Napster before serving as the first president of social networking giant Facebook. While that might be enough for most people, Parker has begun a new project that will affect even more individuals in a personal way.

Over the last decade, Parker has generously supported organizations such as Stand Up to Cancer and Cancer Research Institute Immunotherapy Dream Team. Early in 2016, Parker earmarked $250 million from his charitable foundation for a grant to establish the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

The Institute is comprised of seven academic medical centers working in conjunction with more than 50 partners in pharma and biotech. According to Parker, the intent was to “cut down the barriers” that limit the free exchange of information.

Aligning Research and Medicine

Parker was inspired to found the Institute when he noticed a disconnect between academic science and the process of actually bringing treatments to patients. He specifically sees cancer immunotherapy as the “opportunity to disrupt” the gap between what’s possible through technology and what’s actually being accomplished.

Issels®: A Champion for Immunotherapy

Our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, was ahead of his time in recognizing the power of cancer immunotherapy. Contact us for more information about our non-toxic integrative programs.

New Findings Show Men with Abnormally Low Testosterone Levels Will Rarely Develop Prostate Cancer

Research Shows Some Men Have A Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer
Research Shows Some Men Have A Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Each year more than 170,000 men in the United States are affected by prostate cancer. While the causes remain unknown, studies have found that hormone levels could be a key to prostate cancer treatment.

The Role of Testosterone in Prostate Cancer

Age, ethnicity and genetic mutations are some of the common risk factors for prostate cancer. The male hormone testosterone is known to facilitate cell growth in prostate tumors.

Based on the androgen saturation model, scientists believe that an increase in testosterone levels beyond the saturation point does not cause a corresponding increase in benign or malignant prostate tissue. Until recently, there wasn’t enough evidence to confirm or refute the model.

Putting Theory to the Test

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom reviewed data obtained from more than 19,000 men, of whom approximately one-third had prostate cancer. Subjects were grouped into 10 categories ranging from lowest to highest levels of testosterone.

When prostate cancer risk was calculated based on conditional logistic regression methods, men in the lowest group were determined to be 20 percent less likely to develop the disease. Subjects in the other nine groups showed no link to prostate cancer risk.

According to Prof. Tim Key, co-author of the study, this is the first population study to support the commonly-held theory regarding testosterone and prostate cancer. Experts believe it could be a significant step toward more efficient diagnosis and treatment.

Issels: A Leader in Effective Prostate Cancer Treatment

Our non-toxic immunotherapy programs have helped patients with prostate cancer and other forms that have been unresponsive to other cancer treatment. Contact us to learn more.

Is the Cost of R&D for Cancer Medications Overstated?

Are Costs Overstated for Cancer Research?
Are Costs Overstated for Cancer Medication Research?

Significant research and development (R&D) costs are often the main reason cited for steep prices on cancer treatments. Surprisingly, a study centered on 10 new cancer drugs suggests that these costs may have been greatly overstated.

The True Costs of Cancer Treatment R&D?

Results of the study, which was recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine, determined that the R&D process for a new cancer drug usually spans seven years, with an average total cost between $648 million and $794 million.

On its face, the numbers are huge, but relatively small compared to the yardstick used by pharmaceutical companies. Their measure is the staggering figure of $2.7 billion per drug, which was determined by a Tufts University study in 2016.

Cost vs. Benefit

Even more revealing was the assessment of sales generated by the 10 drugs evaluated in the study. After an average of four years on the market, the drugs had a combined total of $67 billion in revenue, which is seven times more than the aggregate of the R&D costs.

As expected, members of the pharmaceutical industry are taking exception with the report. Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, took no official position but felt that the study would prompt wider discussion on the issue.

Integrative Cancer Immunotherapy Programs from Issels®

While cancer immunotherapy is a hot topic in the medical community, Issels® has been successfully using non-toxic treatments such as cancer vaccines for decades. Contact us for more information about our cancer centers in Santa Barbara, CA and Tijuana, Mexico.