Tag Archives: Ovarian Cancer

An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story

An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story
An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story

What happens when a patient responds to cancer immunotherapy that, according to advanced medical knowledge, shouldn’t work? Scientists are studying four recent cases where cancer treatment “broke the rules.”

Exceptions to the Rule?

Four women in different countries, who knew each other only through an online support group, were diagnosed with the same rare form of ovarian cancer. Each one persuaded her doctor to use immunotherapy drugs, despite conventional wisdom that the treatment was useless against ovarian cancer.

Against all odds, the patients responded positively, with their tumors going into remission and the women returning to their normal lives. Researchers are hoping to gain insight that will help develop cancer immunotherapy treatments with a broader range of applications.

Why Doctors Were Caught by Surprise

Tumor cells have an ability to deflect attacks from the body’s immune system, allowing them to multiply freely. Immunotherapy is a way of helping the immune system identify and kill cancer cells.

So far immunotherapy has been successful primarily with lung cancer, melanoma and forms with many genetic mutations. By contrast, hypercalcemic ovarian cancer, which is the form that affected the four women, is driven by a single mutation.

The theory is that a lower number of mutations “tricks” the immune system into disregarding the threat posed by cancer cells. Based on the positive results in the women with ovarian cancer, scientists at Johns Hopkins and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are conducting trials with the aim of further refining cancer immunotherapy.

Comprehensive Cancer Immunotherapy Treatments at Issels®

Our individually created immunotherapy programs are often successful where other conventional treatments have failed. Contact us for more information.

Synthetic Biomarkers May Aid in Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Early Treatment of Ovarian Cancer is Important

Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to detect in the early stages, resulting in poor survival rates for patients. MIT engineers have developed a synthetic biomarker that could detect ovarian tumors five months earlier than current testing methods.

Early Cancer Treatment of Ovarian Tumors

Five-year survival rates surpass 90 percent when ovarian cancer is detected early. Unfortunately, the disease is usually asymptomatic in the earlier stages. Any symptoms that do present tend to be non-specific, such as fatigue and weight loss.

Current testing looks for the presence of blood biomarkers produced by ovarian tumors, but it can take eight to 10 years for them to reach a high enough concentration to be detected. Ultrasound imaging reveals only tumors that are at least one centimeter in diameter.

Synthetic vs. Natural Biomarkers

Synthetic biomarkers are nanoparticles that interact with tumor proteins. The process releases fragments that can be detected in a patient’s urine, resulting in a more accurate test than one conducted on natural biomarkers in the bloodstream.

Professor Sangeeta Bhatia and her team at MIT engineered a synthetic biomarker to be approximately 15 times better than a previous version. The nanoparticle was then tested against a blood biomarker in mice with ovarian cancer.

The synthetic biomarker was able to detect ovarian cancer composed of tumors as small as two millimeters in diameter. Researchers are now testing the possibility of using this method with other types of cancer.

Personalized Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Every case of cancer is unique, so we use specialized testing to determine the best approach for each patient. Contact us for more information about our immunotherapy cancer treatment programs.

Ovarian Cancer May Now be linked to Douching

Is Douching Really a Good Idea?
Is Douching Really a Good Idea?

Douching dates back to ancient times, but studies have uncovered numerous reasons why it’s more harmful than good. Now comes news that women who douche may be doubling their chances of developing ovarian cancer.

First Study to Link Douching with Ovarian Cancer

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) recently issued the results of a study begun in 2003 involving 41,000 women in the United States and Puerto Rico. All were between the ages of 35 and 74 and had a sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, although they themselves had neither breast nor ovarian cancer.

In July 2014, ovarian cancer was detected in 154 women. Those who reported douching during the year prior to entering the study were nearly twice as likely to have developed ovarian cancer. The reasons behind the connection are still unknown and will be explored through further research.

Is Douching Necessary?

While douching is supposedly hygienic, it actually results in an excess of bacteria that can back up into the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Health problems linked with douching include pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer and reduced fertility.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 25 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 44 use douches. Clarice Weinberg, lead author of the NIEHS study, warns that there are “a number of health reasons not to douche” and no good reasons to continue.

State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®

Our immunotherapy for cancer treatments have helped patients diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer as well as many other forms. Contact us to learn more about our personalized non-toxic treatment methods.

50% of Ovarian Cancer Patients Missed Early Treatment

Missed Early Treatment
Missed Early Treatment

A shocking study published by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston concluded that half of the patients eligible for intraperitoneal/intravenous chemotherapy, a form of treatment that is delivered into the body cavity and the veins of a patient, did not receive the treatment, even though they could have because they were eligible. The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and frequent urination, though often these symptoms are mistaken for other minor problems.

It’s important to check with a doctor if you are experiencing strange symptoms in the lower abdominal region, as they are often more than just a reaction to digestion. Ovarian cancer is so dangerous because most patients only find out about it when it’s too late, and not earlier when it could have been prevented and or mitigated. A study performed in 2006 showed that this cancer treatment led to over a year where the disease exhibited no signs of progression. It also said that people who took this treatment lived four to five years longer than those who only took intravenous treatment.

It’s critical to survival rates to discover ovarian cancer before it’s too late; a whopping one-third of those who receive treatment early are reported to live ten years longer than those who didn’t receive any at all.

At Issels®, the Center for Immuno-Oncology, we are committed to helping all our patients experience the best survival rate possible following an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Through a combination of better eating habits and non-toxic treatment options, your prognosis has never had a more shining future. Contact us today for more information.

“Angelina” Effect Causes An Increase in Genetic Cancer Testing

DNA
Genetic Predisposition

Hereditary ovarian and breast cancer have made the news in recent years thanks to Angelina Jolie. The actress made headlines in 2013 after revealing that she had a double mastectomy after finding out that she carries genetic mutations that increase her risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In 2015, she had her fallopian tubes and ovaries removed. 

Jolie’s disclosures have raised awareness of these types of cancer, prompting more women to undergo genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. However, in the latest cancer news, some major insurance companies are refusing to cover the costs of this testing. These companies, which include Aetna and Cigna, won’t cover these costs out of concern that the tests are unproven and might end up causing patients to seek unnecessary medical care, such as preventive chemotherapy. 

Health experts, including physicians and genetic counselors, have defended these tests, stating that delaying them could be putting patients who do carry these mutations at risk. If they knew that they were carriers, they could be taking steps to reduce their risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, such as making dietary changes.

Some health professionals also state that making these tests cost-prohibitive makes it harder for researchers to study their effectiveness in more detail. Health experts are encouraging insurance companies to cover the costs of genetic testing for cancer in order to reduce the costs associated with eventually having to treat cancer in those with a high risk. 

To keep up with the latest cancer news and to learn more about non-toxic forms of treatment, please visit Issels®. We offer integrative immunotherapy for a variety of cancers.

A Look Back at the Successes in Treating Ovarian Cancer

Prostate Cancer
Treating Ovarian Cancer

For the many drafted into the fight against ovarian cancer, its sub-40% cure rate can seem especially daunting. No matter where you’re at in your cancer journey, Issels® wants you to know you have an increased fighting chance thanks to these ovarian cancer treatment advancements which can stop aggressively growing tumors from endangering vital organs and gain time for immunotherapy to work.

Let’s celebrate our success in the hard-fought battle against ovarian cancer!

  • Changes to surgical principles
    Now that the role of surgery is more clearly understood, complete surgical staging (checking the spread of cancer) and debulking (the removal of cancerous tumors), is now recommended for nearly all patients suspected of harboring any residual disease in order to create better outcomes.
  • Intraperitoneal chemotherapy
    A major development in ovarian cancer treatment, this stage three cancer therapy delivers a concentrated dose of chemotherapy directly to the cancer site via a catheter inserted into the abdominal cavity. Strong evidence now associates its use with a major improvement in median ovarian cancer survival rates in women.
  • The addition of bevacizumab
    Bevacizumab, an angiogenesis inhibitor, has offered ovarian cancer victims a variety of bevacizumab-containing regimens which slow the growth of new blood vessels, offering a progression-free survival as opposed to overall survival when other methods have been exhausted.

Who do we have to thank for these treatments?
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives.

Do you have the right cancer battle strategy? Plot your course for a better life with Issels® today.