The History of the Issels Treatment or
Issels Integrative Oncology
Issels Integrative Oncology or Immuno-Oncology as practiced at our Centers has its origin in Germany.
This comprehensive holistic treatment has evolved from the foundation laid by the renowned cancer specialist, Josef M. Issels, M.D., in Germany, in the world’s first hospital specializing in integrative cancer treatment with non-toxic immunotherapy as its main pillar. It stands out for its extensive history of complete long-term tumor remissions of advanced and standard therapy-resistant cancers.
Dr. Josef M. Issels was the foremost pioneer of Integrative Cancer Treatment based on the holistic concept—the treatment of both the cancer tumor as well as the cancer environment, which promotes the tumor growth. Latest cancer research is pointing at the importance of the cancer environment.
Government Authorities & Eminent Scientists on Issels
In view of his expertise and results, Dr. Josef Issels was invited to serve as an expert member of the German Federal Government Commission in the Fight against Cancer from 1981 until his retirement in 1987.
John Anderson, M.D., Former Head and Chair of the Department of Medicine at King’s College Hospital Medical School, University of London, England, Former Consultant to the World Health Organization on Oncology, visited the Issels Hospital and confirmed the treatment results. Please read his report here.
Upon the retirement from his activities in Germany, Dr. Issels introduced the Issels Integrative Oncology, including integrative immunotherapy, to the Americas.
After his death in 1998, Dr. Josef Issels' legacy has been continued with the same integrity and dedication by his wife and collaborator for 40 years, Ilse Marie Issels, and their sons, Dr. Christian N. Issels and Hellmut J. Issels. They have since carried on his work with remarkable results.
It was in his early years when his tireless quest to help even cancer patients who had failed standard treatments guided Dr. Josef Issels to integrate immunotherapy into his comprehensive treatment system.
For this purpose in 1951 he founded the first hospital in the world dedicated to integrative cancer treatment including immunotherapy in Germany. Ninety percent of the patients were those who had failed standard treatments. A remarkable number of these advanced stage patients achieved partial or complete long-term cancer remission through the integrative immunotherapy programs.
This comprehensive, integrative Issels treatment concept was revolutionary and far ahead of its time. It went beyond the limitations of the tumor-centered conventional concept and inevitably aroused opposition from some sectors of the medical establishment. However, Dr. Issels always stood for what he felt was right and prevailed.
In 1970, the Issels hospital grew from 85 to 120 beds exclusively for cancer patients, and expanded its extensive research facilities, including the immunologic, microbiologic, dental and hyperthermia departments. The hospital's programs included research on tumor vaccines, mycoplasma and bacterial vaccines inducing fever, hyperthermia, etc.
Dr. Issels became internationally known for his outcomes in the treatment of cancer patients who had exhausted all standard treatments. Patients who have used the Issels Treatment have suffered from advanced cancers of the bladder, bones, brain, breast, cervix, colon, liver, lung, ovaries, prostate, stomach, testicles, thyroid, sarcomas, lymphomas and leukemias. After completion of the Issels Integrative Immunotherapy program, a remarkable number of these patients remained cancer free for up to 50 years, leading normal healthy lives.
A review of 370 cancer patients with various cancers revealed the following: as follow-up treatment shortly after primary standard treatments such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, Dr. Issels' Integrative Immunotherapy significantly reduced the rate of recurrence from about 50 percent, according to world statistics, to 13 percent thereby increasing the cure rate from 50 to 87 percent.
Dr. Issels authored over 50 papers and three monographs on his treatment for cancer and its results, and lectured at international conferences. Independent statistical studies have been published in peer reviewed medical journals.
Dr. Issels' treatment was able to reverse or improve chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis, Grave's disease, systemic lupus, Sjoegren's syndrome, etc.
Dr. Issels pursued research on immunological and microbial aspects of cancer etiology since 1948, and established several research departments in his hospital from its inception.
In 1958, Dr. Issels appointed Dr. Franz Gerlach as the Director of Research of the microbiologic department of the Issels hospital. Dr. Gerlach was a professor of the University of Vienna, Austria, and represented Austria at the 1946 International Conference of the Microbiology of Cancer. He worked at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, was a Fellow of the reputable Academy of Medicine in Paris, among other institutions, and was well known to cancer specialists all over the world for his research on mycoplasmas and cancer. Dr. Issels' hospital became the only institution of the era to conduct research on mycoplasmas in cancer and chronic degenerative diseases.
A variety of studies in Dr. Issels' microbiological department confirmed that mycoplasma species can be causative or a co-factor in the development of cancer. For example, after cell free depot inoculation of mycoplasmas under the skin of 209 albino mice, 90.9% developed all types of malignancies, whereas of 600 control animals which were not inoculated, only 0.83% developed cancer.
Since the late 1960's, all German insurance companies, including the equivalent of U.S. Medicare, covered treatment at Dr. Issels hospital and continue to do so with hospitals offering immunobiologic treatment based on the holistic Issels concept.
In 1970, the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, London, aired a 60-minute TV documentary in its prime time show “Tomorrow's World” on Dr. Josef Issels' work.
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