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The Issels Treatment - A Summary

Every cancer patient has his/her individual cancer due to inherited genetic predisposition and very different causes and conditions, such as lifestyle, environment, infections, and other influences.

Therefore, Issels Integrative Oncology, with non-toxic individualized immunotherapy as its main pillar, specifically targets your cancer cells and tumors, as well as the cancer environment. It is a treatment for all types and stages of cancer.

Watch over 40 videos of patient testimonials

Our treatment protocols are highly personalized through very special testing methods—including genomic—to meet your individual needs.

Issels Integrative Oncology has two lines of approach, which are of equal importance and complement each other:

  1. Therapies directed against the cancer tumor itself; and
  2. Therapies to alter the tumor environment with its essential role in cancer progression or regression.

Cancer patients who had been considered "incurable", like the following patients in the images below, have achieved complete long-term tumor remissions and have led cancer-free lives for many years, some for even decades after their Issels Integrative Oncology treatment. 

Below are a few examples of patients with complete long-term remissions.

If you would like to read about recent cases,
please visit our Testimonials page
.

Malignant Mediastinal Tumor

                 Mediastinal Malignant Tumor - BEFORE       Mediastinal Malignant Tumor - AFTER
                 Complete Long Term Remission of Recurring Mediastinal Cancer throught the Issels Treatment  in Combination with Chemotherapy       Complete Long Term Remission of Recurring Mediastinal Cancer throught the Issels Treatment  in Combination with Chemotherapy
                          Before Issels                            1 year later
                     Integrative Oncology         Followed and cancer free for 32 years

Rhabdomyosarcoma of the Left Jaw

                   Rhabdomyosarcoma of the left jaw - BEFORE       Rhabdomyosarcoma of the left jaw - AFTER
                           Before Issels                          22 years later
                     Integrative Oncology       Followed and cancer free for 32 years

Issels Integrative Oncology's comprehensive strategy, encompassing body, mind and spirit, is designed to restore the body's own immune, regulatory and repair mechanisms to recognize and destroy cancer cells.

Advanced Integrative Immunotherapy with non-toxic autologous (i.e. from the patient's own blood) cancer vaccines, cytokine, cell protocols and other state-of-the art, research-based therapies, such as modern gene-targeted cancer therapies, are integrated into our immunobiologic core treatment.

Specialized protocols of standard therapies are administered if needed and if still possible depending on the individual case.

>> Read more patient histories on complete long-term tumor remissions.

>> Testimonials and videos demonstrating recent treatment results**

At Issels, thousands of patients have received treatment and many of them have achieved long-term remission of the following cancers:

Adenoarcinoma, Bone Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Colon Cancer, Embryonal Teratoma, Kidney Cancer, Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Lymphoma, Mediastinal Cancer, Melanoma, Optic Nerve Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Sarcoma, Squamous Cell Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Teratoma, Testicular Cancer, Thyroid Cancer, Uterine Cancer                                    

** DISCLAIMER: The extent of the response to treatment varies from patient to patient, even with similar diagnosis as the internal bodily environment is unique to each individual patient.


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Issels Integrative Immunotherapy Programs for Cancer

Issels Integrative Immunotherapy Programs to treat cancer.Our Integrative Immunotherapy Programs as of 2013 have been refined through decades of extensive clinical experience with the integration of cancer vaccines into a personalized immunobiologic core treatment program.

The vaccines work on the cellular level of the immune system, whereas the core treatment also addresses the various other levels of the body’s complex inherent defense properties.

Our Integrative Immunotherapy Protocols include various combinations of the following modalities depending on individual diagnosis.

•  Extracorporeal Photopheresis. (FDA-approved for cutaneous T-Cell lymphoma based on research by Richard L. Edelson, Carole L. Berger, et al., Yale University, USA) to provide immunomodulatory properties.  

•  Autologous Dendritic Cell Vaccine. Dendritic cells are key regulators of immune responses and orchestrate innate and adaptive immunities. They are the most potent antigen-presenting cells and have the potential to invoke an anti-tumor immune response.

•  Prostate Cancer Vaccine. This vaccine is designed to stimulate a patient's immune system to target prostate cancer cells. The preparation of the vaccine involves culturing the patient's peripheral monocytes in vitro in the presence of a recombinant growth factor, special cytokines and their own prostate-specific antigen, which is fractionated into peptides in order to achieve a more specific immune response.

•  Lymphokine-Activated Killer Cells - Also known as LAK Cells. These cells are autologous lymphocytes that in the presence of Interleukin-2 are expanded and activated to destroy cancer cells.

•  Activated Natural Killer Cells - Also known as NK Cells. NK Cells are autologous natural killer cells, a type of lymphocytes of the innate immune system that in the presence of Interleukin-21 and special cytokines are expanded and activated to destroy cancer cells.

•  Coley’s Mixed Bacterial Vaccine. Use of the vaccine opens blockades in the body matrix (all solid, semi-solid and fluid connective tissues), stimulates the production of the body's own interferons, interleukins, colony stimulating factors, tumor necrosis factor and other potent disease fighters.

•  Stem Cell and Lymphokine-Activated Killer Cell Procedure. This treatment involves the activation of lymphocytes in vivo. Stem cells aid in the repair of organs and tissues damaged by cancer, previous cancer treatments or chronic and degenerative conditions.

•  Systemic Hyperthermia. Systemic Hyperthermia enhances immune functions.

•  Autologous Cytokines to continue boosting the immune system during the home care program.

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The Comprehensive Immunobiologic Core Treatment Program

The Vaccine and Cell Protocols, as well as the hyperthermia treatments, are integrated into the comprehensive immunobiologic core treatment program, which may include, but is not limited to the following.

  • Anticancer Intravenous Therapies - using various natural substances such as pharmacologic Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

  • Autohemotherapy - and other immunobiologic therapies to enhance innate immunities

  • Oxidative Therapy - to activate cellular respiration and improve blood oxygenation.

  • Enzymatic Therapy - with proteolytic enzymes to aid in the elimination of immune suppressive factors and with digestion.

  • Glandulars or Glandular Therapy - to regenerate organs such as the liver, thyroid, adrenals, spleen, and other organs.

  • Phytotherapy - to stimulate cancer fighting properties.

  • Laetrile - to help destroy cancer cells.

  • Photoluminescence Therapy also called
    Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy - to modulate immune response.

  • Melatonin - to help stimulate the production of interleukins, which have anti-tumoral properties.

  • Nutritional Immunotherapy - with amino acids, antioxidants and probiotics, nutraceuticals, etc.

  • Detoxification strategies - to help restore the body's regulatory mechanisms.

  • Colon Hydrotherapy - to cleanse the colon and restore its health.

  • Chelation - to help eliminate heavy metals and other substances from the body.

  • Acupuncture, Massage, Lymph Drainage, and Physical Therapy are part of our comprehensive program.

  • Psychological and Emotional Support - at Issels we treat the whole you - body, mind and spirit.

  • Education in Diet and Healthy Lifestyle - we help you maintain a healthy lifestyle focus so when you return home you can continue to improve and embrace healthy living.

These treatment components enhance one other and their effectiveness is optimized through their integration into a treatment system that focuses not only on the cancer tumor, but also on its underlying causes. This comprehensive approach is designed to provide the basis for long-term remission and for your healing.


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A Little Background on the History of Issels

Integrative Oncology was pioneered by Josef M. Issels, M.D., who realized that a treatment strategy that is limited to the cancer tumor without addressing its underlying causes can only yield limited results. Based on his experience and those of other researchers, he developed a comprehensive treatment concept integrating standard methods and immunotherapy including cancer vaccines and other biologic response modifiers.

Josef M. Issels, M.D., Nov. 21, 1907  -
Feb 11, 1998In 1951 in Germany, he founded the world's first hospital specializing in integrative oncology with emphasis on immunotherapy of cancer. In 1970, the hospital grew from 85 to 120 patient beds. Ninety percent of these patients with metastatic late-stage cancer had failed standard treatments, and yet a remarkable number of them achieved complete long-term remissions through integrative immunotherapy and subsequently led a cancer-free life for decades. In his in-patient and out-patient facilities he treated more than 15,000 thousand advanced cancer patients for months at a time.

In view of his expertise and results he 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. Read more about the Issels treatment history and about our founder Dr. Joseph Issels.

Explanation of Integrative Oncology in General

Integrative Oncology based on the Issels concept states that:

• Malignant tumors do not develop in a healthy body with intact defense, repair and regulatory functions.

Cancer manifests in a specific internal environment, which promotes its own growth.

This environment develops due to multiple causes and conditions, which vary from one individual to the other.

• These causes usually remain chronically active even after removal of the tumor by surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy; hence, the high percentage of recurrence.

• The Issels Integrative Oncology programs place equal importance on the removal of the tumor itself and of causes and conditions leading to the suppression of the body's immune mechanisms and, therefore, to disease progression and recurrence.

The Issels Treatment - a Two Part Comprehensive Strategy

Based on the concept as outlined above the treatment strategy at our Integrative Oncology Centers™ is a two-pronged attack. It consists of the integration of the following methods as indicated by the individual patient's condition:

  1. Standard treatment methods that are directed at the elimination of the cancer cells and the cancer tumor itself such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

  2. Integrative Immunotherapy such as cancer vaccines, cytokine and cell protocols integrated into an immunobiologic core treatment designed to restore the body's complex immune, regulatory and repair mechanisms to fight the disease. Thus Integrative Immunotherapy is the main pillar of our Integrative Oncology programs.

Our Immunobiologic Core Treatment has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of the vaccine treatment, as well as that of standard treatments and reduce the latter's toxic side effects.

About ninety percent of our patients have exhausted standard treatments. Whenever standard treatments are indicated and are still possible, we prefer the least invasive and least toxic modalities. We recommend Advanced Targeted Cancer Therapies.


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Additional Options - Advanced Targeted Cancer Therapies

There are a number of targeted therapies approved in the United States for various types of cancer.

Targeted cancer therapies are medications that block the growth and spread of cancer cells by interfering with specific molecules needed for tumor growth.

Targeted therapies are designed to inhibit only cancer cell replication and tumor growth, whereas traditional chemotherapy-based treatments destroy rapidly dividing cancerous and non-cancerous cells alike.

Targeted therapies, although chemical drugs in nature, are not only less harmful to normal cells and less toxic than traditional chemotherapy, but they have also been shown to improve outcomes in patients who have qualified for this treatment.

The advantage to advanced targeted cell therapy is that most targeted therapies that are recommended are administered orally, which allows patients relative independent control over their dosage and schedule, depending on tolerability.

* * * * * * *

Immunotherapy for cancer is based on the principle that the host's immune system is capable of generating immune responses against tumor specific antigens.

Natural Killer Cells (NKC), in particular, have been shown to eliminate solid tumors and metastatic cells in the circulation through their cytotoxicity and cytokine production.

In 2009, a retrospective analysis of NKC counts included 129 cancer patients who underwent the Issels Treatment® program at the Issels Medical Center in Santa Barbara, California. NKC response to Issels Immunotherapy protocol revealed an average 48% increase in absolute NKC levels per patient in approximately 3 weeks.


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What We Believe About Cancer

Cancer Immunotherapy specialists.Cancer patients' immune and regulatory mechanisms fail to recognize cancer cells and eliminate them. They tolerate them. The Issels Integrative Immunotherapy is designed to break through this "tolerance".

Our program is a unique blend of non-toxic treatment modalities that complement and enhance one another in an effort to attack the cancer and, at the same time, restore the body's own regulatory, repair and defense systems, of which the immune system is one important part.

In general terms, these treatments work on the levels of the biochemical defense and help cancer cells undergo differentiation as encoded in the genes that cause them to die through programmed cell death called apoptosis. Other treatment modalities work on the levels of cell-mediated and humoral immunities.

Our treatment protocol is a proprietary program that is only available at the Issels Centers. The Issels Treatment® strategy includes standard treatments when indicated and available for use.

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The Issels Concept of the Development of Cancer
and Its Treatment

Published by Josef M. Issels, MD

The diagram below explains the concept of the Issels Integrative Oncology that focuses on both the cancer tumors and the internal bodily environment, which promotes the tumor growth. Within this concept each treatment modality has its clearly defined task to fulfill in the endeavor to eliminate the tumor and restore the body's own innate cancer fighting properties.

Issels Chart
Click the image above for a larger picture.

Explanation of the Diagram Above

Pre-and postnatal endogenous and exogenous causal factors (Section I above) can lead by mutagenic, toxic, sensitizing or neural effects via the transit mesenchyme to secondary damages to organs and organ systems and so to functional disturbances of the neural, hormonal, excretory and defense systems (Section II above).

These secondary damages and especially the disturbance of the detoxification system deteriorate the internal environment and can lead to complex metabolic disturbances which are common to all chronic diseases and to cancer.

Further constant influence of the causal factors and the persistence of secondary damages can produce a functional imbalance and deteriorate the defense and repair mechanisms. Depending on inherited constitution and disposition, this can develop into a chronic degenerative disease and a "tumor-milieu" (tumor environment) (Section III above), the ideal medium for cancer cells and micro-organisms found in cancer to grow. The body has acquired the tendency to produce malignant tumors.

With the manifestation of the tumor (Section IV above), the cancer disease enters the recognizable phase. At this time, conventional cancer treatment begins with the weapons directed against the cancer tumor and its symptoms (Section V above).

According to the concept that cancer starts as a locally confined growth, all measures concentrated on the tumor alone seem causal and exhaustive. Treating the tumor alone is not treating the condition that is producing it: the underlying cancer disease. Consequently, there is a high rate of relapse.

According to the comprehensive concept, however, cancer is considered a systemic disease from the onset and the tumor as its late stage symptom.

Following this concept, the Issels Integrative Oncology has two lines of approach, which are of equal importance and complement each other.

  1. Standard Cancer Therapies directed against the cancer tumor itself, such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.

  2. Immunotherapy such as cancer vaccines, cytokine and cell protocols as well as immunobiologic treatment components aiming to eliminate causal factors, repair damages of the early stages, normalize the internal environment, and restore the body's regulatory, repair and immune mechanisms. The core therapy fights cancer indirectly.

The Immunobiologic Core Therapy corresponds to the etiological path leading to the immuno-insufficiency and the cancer disease. It is modified to suit the individual patient's needs. It consists of:

The Core Therapy is long-term, without any toxic side effects and aims at the regeneration of the "big resistance," which comprises all the defense zones:

  1. The extracorporal defense zone consisting of the physiological obligatory microflora on mucous membranes, which is responsible for the basic immunity of the organism.

  2. The epithelial defense zone consisting of all epithelial surfaces which performs defense, filtration, excretion and absorption.

  3. The lympho-reticulo defense zone, which performs the important tasks of phagocytosis, antibody production and detoxification. On this zone, immunotherapy is mainly centered today.

  4. The reticulo-histiocytary defense zone, which is the pluripotent mesenchyme embracing almost half of the body weight. It has been neglected in cancer research and treatment, although it is of great importance to all defense processes due to its various functions:
  • the stem cell function;

  • the transit function that intervenes between all nerves, organ cells, blood, lymphatic and intestinal cells;

  • the homeostatic function;

  • the defense, detoxification and storage functions.

Cancer treatment laboratory preparation.These defense zones are successive, are closely interrelated and are under neuro-hormonal control. The blockade of only one function of one of these zones, for example of the excretion, or even the blockade of the control system such as the autonomous nervous system may contribute indirectly to a lowering of the defense potential.

During treatment, it was repeatedly observed that by the elimination of head foci, or with a fever therapy a blockade of the neuro-hormonal functions was broken. Dr. Issels' cases revealed that even in an advanced stage of malignant disease an immune reaction with complete tumor remission could be achieved.

Experience has shown that comprehensive immunotherapy opens up the following therapeutic possibilities:

  • Treatment of cancer of all kinds and stages offering a considerable chance of recovery even for patients in advanced stages who have exhausted all standard treatments.

  • Follow-up treatment to help prevent recurrence after standard cancer therapy through restoration of the patient's defense and repair functions. (The World's rate of recurrence after standard treatment is 50%.)

  • Non-toxic preventive treatment for patients at risk, and those with precancerous diseases.

  • Preparatory treatment prior to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy to reduce the risk of complications and in qualified cases, to render inoperable tumors operable.

  • Treatment of chronic degenerative diseases, which are untreatable by standard methods.

View the excerpt from the Report on the Visit to the Issels Hospital by John Anderson, M.D., Professor of Medicine; 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.


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Last updated: 3/31/2014
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