Tag Archives: Lung Cancer

Why Some Lung Cancers Do Not Respond to Some Types of Immunotherapy Treatment

Why Some Lung Cancers Do Not Respond to Some Types of Immunotherapy Treatment
Why Some Lung Cancers Do Not Respond to Some Types of Immunotherapy Treatment

Despite the drop in smoking rates, lung cancer remains the second most common form of the disease in the United States. Scientists are hopeful that a recent discovery will aid the development of more effective immunotherapy for lung cancer.

A Roadblock in Lung Cancer Treatment

The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders. Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that boosts the ability of the immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

Current immunotherapy for lung cancer includes a drug that shuts down a protein on the surface of tumor cells. The protein, called PD-L1, latches on to T cells and prevents them from attacking.

Unfortunately, many lung cancer patients didn’t respond positively to this treatment. Scientists realized they needed to learn more about the “immune compartment of lung tumors,” which involves the relationship between the cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment.

Scientists Make a Breakthrough

A research team in Switzerland studied mice with a form of lung cancer similar to that in humans. They found that a type of immune cell known as Gr1+ neutrophils actually triggers a cycle in the microenvironment that promotes the growth of tumor cells.

Team leader Prof. Etienne Meylan explained that neutrophils are an essential part of the immune response, so removing them is not the answer. Future research will focus on how the neutrophils operate and how immunotherapy for lung cancer can work around them.

Issels®: The Leader in Effective Immunotherapy

For decades, we have been successful treating patients with immunotherapy for lung cancer and other forms of the disease. Contact us for more information.

What’s the Deadliest Cancer of All? Lung Cancer. Find out Why.

Find Out Why Lung Cancer is the Deadliest Cancer
Find Out Why Lung Cancer is the Deadliest Cancer

While advances in cancer treatment have improved survival rates for many of its forms, lung cancer continues to be the deadliest type of the disease. Despite alarming statistics, lung cancer remains a lower priority for medical researchers.

Lung Cancer Accounts for One-Quarter of Cancer Deaths

Approximately 14 percent of new cancer cases are lung cancer, but it makes up a disproportionate 26 percent of cancer deaths. According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, that averages out to 427 deaths from lung cancer each day in America, which is more than the number of deaths from breast, prostate and colon cancer combined.

Despite these numbers, less funds are allocated to lung cancer research than the other three leading forms. In 2016, the National Institute of Health spent only $1,500 per lung cancer death as opposed to $19,250 for breast cancer, $9,400 for prostate cancer and $5,800 for colon cancer.

Does Lung Cancer Merit Less Attention?

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, but nearly 18 percent of cases are found in non-smokers. Four years ago, former educator Ginny Hicks found herself in the latter group when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer.

As Hicks undergoes treatment in a clinical trial of an immunotherapy drug, she has become an advocate for lung cancer research and education. According to Hicks, lung cancer has a stigma attached due to a common perception that smokers bring the disease on themselves.

Non-Toxic Cancer Treatment at Issels®

We have helped patients with Stage 4 lung cancer and other metastatic tumors achieve long-term remission with personally tailored immunotherapy programs. Contact us for more information.

Smoking May Actually Prime Lung Cells for Cancer

Cancer Research News
Cancer Research News

The link between cigarette smoking and increased risk of lung cancer is well-established. Recent studies are giving researchers more insight into the causes of the connection as well as possible methods of treatment.

What Causes Genetic Abnormalities?

Gene behavior is driven by DNA code, but it can also be affected by other external factors. These events, such as those brought on by exposure to cigarette smoke, are known as epigenetic changes.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore grew human bronchial cells, the same type that line airways in the lungs, and bathed them daily with a liquid form of cigarette smoke. This procedure went on for 15 months, making it the equivalent of smoking one to two packs of cigarettes a day for 20 to 30 years.

How Smoking “Primes” Cells for DNA Damage

After only 10 days, the smoke-exposed cells sustained more DNA damage than unexposed cells. Over the next three months, the exposed cells showed a significant increase in EZH2, which is a hormone that silences genes.

EZH2 is also a precursor to methylation, in which tiny methyl groups are added to the start of a gene’s DNA code. As a result, tumor suppression genes are silenced and thereby unable to prevent the uncontrolled cell growth of cancer. Smokers who quit show a lower level of methylation, which can decrease their risk of cancer.

Integrative Cancer Immunotherapy Treatment at Issels®

Our cancer immunotherapy programs incorporate gene-targeted therapies based on a patient’s individual needs. Contact us for more information about our decades of success initiating long-term remission with our innovative cancer immunotherapy treatments.

 

Gold Nano Particles May Boost Lung Cancer Treatment

Gold Nano-particles Can be Introduced into the Bloodstream to Help Fight Cancer.
Gold Nano-particles Can be Introduced into the Bloodstream to Help Fight Cancer.

Gold may have a value that goes well beyond financial gain. Researchers have discovered that the shiny element can enhance the effectiveness of drugs used to treat lung cancer.

Cancer Treatment as Good as Gold

Testing was conducted at the University of Edinburgh, where Scientists took nanoparticles, which are microscopic particles of gold, and encased them in a chemical device. The object was then used on zebrafish to successfully accelerate their chemical reactions.

Dr. Asier Unciti-Broceta from Cancer Research U.K.’s Edinburgh center participated in the study. He explained that the team’s goal was to find a way to reduce side effects of current chemotherapy methods.

Lessening the Side Effects of Traditional Cancer Treatment

Side effects of cancer treatment are usually the result of drugs attacking healthy cells as well as diseased ones. According to Dr. Unciti-Broceta, their findings indicate that gold could possibly be used to safely release drugs inside tumors.

Immunotherapy for cancer is effective because it helps the immune system’s ability to target cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. Researchers are continuing tests with nanoparticles in the hopes of applying a similar method with humans.

Dr. Aine McCarthy, also of Cancer Research U.K., expressed optimism that incorporating gold in immunotherapy for cancer could improve the outlook for hard-to-treat cancers such as brain tumors.

Issels®: The Gold Standard of Immunotherapy for Cancer

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Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer – What to Know

Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer - What to Know
Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer – What to Know

Navigating the ins and outs of Medicare coverage can be a challenge. Here’s what you need to know about this program and how it applies to screenings for early detection of cancer.

Do All Providers Accept Medicare?

• Participating doctors “accept assignments,” meaning they consider the amount received from Medicare along with your co-pay and deductible as payment in full, resulting in fewer out-of-pocket expenses.

• Non-participating doctors don’t always accept Medicare, so you have to pay out-of-pocket. Medicare will reimburse you for the portions they normally cover, but you still incur sizable expenses for the difference.

• Opt-out doctors don’t participate in Medicare at all, making you fully responsible for all charges.

Medicare Coverage for Cancer Screening

• Annual mammograms are covered for women aged 40 and older, while clinical breast exams (CBE) are covered every two years for women at average risk for breast cancer and once a year for those at high risk.

• Women at average risk for cervical cancer are covered for a Pap test and pelvis exam every two years, while women at high risk are covered annually.

• Colorectal screening is covered for people 50 and over based on risk factors and date of last test.

• For prostate screening, men over age 50 are covered 100 percent for an annual PSA blood test and 80 percent for a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Lung cancer screening is covered once a year if you are between 55 and 77 and have a qualifying history of smoking.

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Study Finds that Older Lung Cancer Patients May Still Benefit from Surgery

Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer in both men and women, and nearly all the patients are over the age of 45. Despite the fact that the average age of diagnosis is 70, cancer surgery is proving to be a viable treatment option that can extend the lives of these patients.

Is Surgery Appropriate for Older Patients?

The general opinion, even among healthcare professionals, is that surgery is too hard on the aging bodies of older patients to be considered as a solution for lung cancer. Treatment then focuses on controlling the symptoms rather than attempting curative solutions.

Evaluating Surgical Treatment for Lung Cancer

In October 2016 the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study headed up by Dr. Prasad Adusumilli, a thoracic surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Participants included more than 2,000 patients diagnosed with Stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer. Approximately 70 percent of the subjects were 65 or older.

After these patients had surgery to remove the tumors, the group experienced a remarkable track record of success. The first year follow-up showed that patient deaths to that point were most often due to causes other than lung cancer. Even more encouraging news was that after five years nearly 90 percent of the patients were alive and cancer-free.

Instead of Surgery Consider Immunotherapy for Cancer

At Issels®, our personally tailored immunotherapy for cancer treatments are designed to boost your body’s natural defenses against the disease. Contact us to learn more about state-of-the-art non-surgical programs such as cancer vaccines and cell therapies prepared from your own immune cells.