Tag Archives: New Cancer Research

New Imaging System Identifies If a Breast Cancer Will Respond Favorably to Chemotherapy

New Imaging System Identifies If a Breast Cancer Will Respond Favorably to Chemotherapy
New Imaging System Identifies If a Breast Cancer Will Respond Favorably to Chemotherapy

When it comes to fighting tumors, effective cancer treatment is only part of the equation. Researchers are also seeking ways to determine which patients will be more receptive to a particular course of treatment. A recent study offers encouraging results for a method of predicting breast cancer response to chemotherapy.

Predicting Chemotherapy Response in Breast Cancer Patients

Women newly diagnosed with breast cancer that is invasive but operable frequently undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy beginning five to six months before surgery. Chances of recurrence are reduced in patients whose cancer cells are completely eliminated by the chemotherapy.

According to Dr. Dawn Hershman, co-leader of the study conducted at Columbia University in NYC, determining which patients are likely to achieve a favorable response makes a significant difference in cancer treatment. If their chances of positive response are low, adjustments can be made for a more effective treatment.

Reading the Clues in 3D Imaging

Based on the idea that chemotherapy affects a tumor’s vascular network, the research team set out to determine if imaging could be used to detect these changes. Blood absorbs light, so the scientists used a system incorporating red and near-infrared lighting.

Armed with 3D images of both breasts, researchers studied the ways in which blood interacted with the tumors. In a group of 34 patients, blood outflow accurately identified 92.3 percent of responders, while increase in blood concentration identified non-responders in 90.5 percent.

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New Research: Light Activated Cancer Medications with Minimal Side Effects

Exploration of New Cancer Therapy Techniques Is on the Horizon.
Exploration of New Cancer Therapy Techniques Is on the Horizon.

A new light may literally be shining on the search for more effective cancer treatment. Scientists are making progress on the creation of cancer drugs that are light-activated and have fewer debilitating side effects.

Fighting the Toxic Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Most of today’s cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy receive cisplatin or another platinum-based compound. These treatments date back more than 50 years, and they attack both healthy and diseased cells, which results in toxic side effects.

A team from the Warwick Monash Alliance, which is an intercontinental collaboration between two universities in the UK and Australia, tested a potential platinum-based chemotherapy drug that is activated by direct light. The inorganic-metal compound has the ability to specifically target and attack cancer cells.

The treatment is completely inert in darkness. Once it’s inserted into a cancerous area, direct light triggers a reaction that causes the compound to degrade into active platinum and release ligand molecules on the diseased cells.

Harnessing the Power of Photoactivation

Peter Sadler, professor of chemistry at the University of Warwick, stated that this discovery has great potential for the development of targeted cancer treatment. Since the light can be focused directly on the tumor, the drug spares healthy tissue and kills only cancer cells.

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