What is the Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer?
The Issels Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment is an Integrative Immunotherapy that activates the patient’s own immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. As cancer is a very complex systemic disease it requires a comprehensive treatment to achieve lasting results. In this regard, Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer is integrative. It is designed to restore the cellular immune functions as well as the various other levels of the body’s very complex immune and defense mechanisms.
What is the Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer strategy?
The Issels Immunotherapy for cancer programs comprise Integrative Immunotherapy protocols designed to restore the body’s innate cancer fighting properties. Integrative means that they are not confined to the mere administration of one treatment modality, be it a vaccine or cell therapy or any other monotherapy, but they are comprehensive. They focus with equal importance on the elimination of the cancer tumors as well as of the underlying causes for the immune suppression and the tumor development, in order to achieve long-term remission and healing.
What are the Issels Immunotherapy Cancer treatment components?
The Issels Immunotherapy for cancer treatment is tailored to each patient’s unique needs. It integrates specific and non-specific immunotherapy components that do not only attack cancer cells and tumors, but also decisively alter the internal bodily environment which has been promoting tumor growth. The body’s internal environment and the tumor microenvironment play a pivotal role in disease progression or regression as modern research confirms.
At the Issels Medical Center in Santa Barbara, California, Dr. Christian N. Issels administers the comprehensive immunobiologic core treatment, which forms the fundamental part of the Issels Immunotherapy program. The specialized testing method he developed and the resulting highly personalized core treatment have shown to break through regulatory blockades of the extracellular matrix in a great variety of standard therapy-resistant cancers and render them responsive to immunotherapy, thereby considerably improving outcomes.
If indicated, Dr. Christian N. Issels and his medical team integrate advanced gene-targeted cancer therapies into the immunobiologic core treatment. Gene-targeted cancer therapies are U.S. F.D.A. approved medications that block the growth and spread of cancer cells by interfering with specific molecules needed for tumor growth and progression of the disease.
At the hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, our experienced and compassionate Issels doctors administer the non-toxic Dendritic Cell Vaccine, the Lymphokine-Activated Killer (LAK) Cell and Activated Natural Killer (NK) Cell therapy program. These cell therapies activate the cellular immune system and are integrated into the immunobiologic core treatment in order to enhance the other levels of the body’s complex defense mechanisms. The hospital is the most modern facility of the largest private hospital chain of 22 hospitals, in Mexico. The facility meets the highest U.S. and international accreditation standards. Patients are always impressed by the cleanliness, organization, and beauty of the hospital, by the nursing services, the organic diet and especially by the competence and compassion of our doctors and staff members, who are fluent in English. Routinely our patients tell us that the physicians are extremely knowledgeable, patient, and take time to answer all questions and to explain our advanced therapies.
Can Issels Immunotherapy be applied without prior chemotherapy ?
The Issels integrative immunotherapy for cancer programs are applicable for all types and all stages of cancer, either in combination with standard treatments or on their own.
They are always adjusted to each individual patient’s needs and can be administered as:
- Treatment for patients who have exhausted treatment programs, who are not candidates or do not opt for, chemotherapy and other standard treatments. Clinical experience has shown that even in the advanced stages of cancer, an immune response with complete tumor remission can be achieved.
- Treatment in conjunction with Advanced Gene-Targeted Cancer Therapies.
- Follow-up Treatment after conventional treatment to boost the suppressed immune functions, with the aim to reduce the risk of recurrence, and improve the outcomes.
- Adjunctive/Complementary Treatment with the aim to enhance the effectiveness of standard treatments, and decrease their side effects.
What is the duration of the Issels Immunotherapy Cancer treatment?
The Issels Integrative Immunotherapy for cancer program is usually initiated by an intensive treatment of three to four weeks and continued at home for several months, as long as needed, under the guidance by our medical team.
The immunobiologic core treatment in Santa Barbara usually takes three weeks with daily treatments from about 9 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Monday through Friday with intravenous infusions of natural anti-cancer substances, intramuscular injections, autohemotherapy, oxygenation therapy, enzymatic therapy, phytotherapy, bioregulation therapy, magnetic field therapy, acupuncture, massage, psychological and emotional support, educational lectures, organic juice program, lunch, etc. All treatments are adjusted to each patient’s needs and the doctors monitor progress and response on a daily basis.
The vaccine and cell therapy program at the hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, can be initiated during a 5-day inpatient stay and patients receive a 5-month supply of the immune boosting therapy to be injected under the skin at home once or twice per month depending on response. Our doctors provide detailed explanation of the vaccine application and of the home care program verbally and in writing. Patients can easily get in touch and have direct access to our doctors throughout the course of treatment and thereafter, for follow-up and for other concerns or questions.
Patients who start our integrative cancer immunotherapy treatment with the 5-day vaccine and cell therapy program in Tijuana and continue with the immunobiologic core treatment in Santa Barbara, are offered a complimentary town car service from San Diego to the accommodation of their choice in Santa Barbara.
Are there any side effects to the Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment?
The immunobiologic core treatment with its natural substances, as well as the vaccine and cell therapies of the patient’s own activated immune cells, are non-toxic and have no adverse side effects.
There may be “healing reactions”, such as flu-like symptoms after injection of the vaccine and cell therapies with increase of body temperature and tenderness in the tumor area for a few hours or days, due to the patient’s response to treatment.
Do Issels doctors monitor their patients’ response to the Issels Immunotherapy?
Our doctors provide close follow-up after patients return home as this is one key to cancer treatment success and long-term survival. Doctor access is direct, timely and unlimited. We work with the patients’ oncologists and general practitioners and provide the protocols for the at-home follow-up infusions and nutraceuticals.
Do patients have to return for continuous treatments of Issels Immunotherapy?
Most of our patients do not need to come back, as our doctors provide their medical practitioners with the information on follow-up care. Our doctors also provide the prescriptions needed for continued in-home treatment. Some patients choose to return after a couple of years for an immune booster. These “alumni” are welcomed and we celebrate their continued good health. Many have filmed video testimonials as to their care and treatment at the Issels Centers.
Location and Facilities
Where are the Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer Centers located?
Our outpatient facility, the Issels Medical Center, has been in Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. since 2004. Dr. Christian N. Issels, the son of Dr. Josef M. Issels, and his medical team, Walter Kim, M.D. and Walter Lewis, M.D., implement state-of-the-art research-based immunobiologic cancer treatment protocols.
The Issels Integrative Immunotherapy for Cancer has also been available since 1997 on an inpatient basis in Tijuana, Mexico, about a 30 minute drive from the San Diego, California, international airport. Our facility is located in Mexico as the cell therapies we use are approved by Mexican Health Authorities, while in the U.S. these protocols are still only available in clinical trials. Our doctors work closely with the immunologist/hematologist who has extensive university experience in cell separation and cell therapy preparation. As the laboratory is located locally, the patient’s collected immune cells do not lose potency by having to be sent to a distant location for vaccine and cell therapy preparation.
How long have the Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer Centers been in operation?
In 1951, our founder, Josef M. Issels M.D., established the world’s first hospital solely dedicated to the treatment of cancer through integrative immunotherapy in Germany. In 1970, it grew from a capacity of 85 to 120 patient beds. Vaccine and cell therapies derived from the patients’ own blood were being cultured at that time.
Ninety percent of the patients had already failed standard cancer treatment and yet a remarkable number of them achieved complete tumor remission through the Issels Immunotherapy and remained cancer-free for many years, some for decades.
In view of his treatment results, Dr. Josef M. Issels was invited to become an expert member of the German Federal Government Commission in the Fight against Cancer.
Since the late 1960s, all German insurance providers, even the equivalent of U.S. Medicare, have been covering the Issels Immunotherapy.
Patients came from all over the world and especially from the Americas. Eventually our treatment operations moved to North America where patients can receive inpatient treatment in Mexico and outpatient treatment in Santa Barbara, California.
What are the Issels Centers’ amenities?
The Issels Medical Center is located in a historic building in the heart of beautiful Santa Barbara, in close proximity to the major hospital, fitness centers, health food stores and a variety of restaurants. It is only a short walk to the harbor. Patients from out-of-town find accommodation at special rates in nearby suite hotels meeting all preferences, or fully furnished spacious apartments with ocean view and beach access.
In Tijuana, Mexico the hospital features the most modern diagnostic and therapeutic services and many additional amenities including spacious private rooms, 16 suites, 4 master suites, an inviting restaurant and community areas, pharmacy and more. We offer complimentary accommodations and meals for one companion. You can view photos of the facility on our website. Wireless internet access is available. Safety deposit boxes are installed in every room. Each room has a TV and a private telephone line. There is also a laundry service on site. Patients are not confined to their rooms and enjoy strolls in the adjoining safe neighborhood.
The hospital is located in an upscale commercial area of Tijuana just across the border from San Diego, California. We offer free shuttle service from the airport to the hospital and vice versa. The hospital also has a heliport.
Does Insurance cover Issels Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment?
During treatment at the Issels Medical Center in Santa Barbara all diagnostics such as laboratory services, X-rays, ultrasound, PET/CT scans, MRI, the genomic testing are usually covered by insurance, as well as the prescription medications and the F.D.A. approved gene-targeted therapies.
Although the Issels Medical Center does not directly accept insurance for the payment of fees of the immunobiologic treatment program, most insurance companies do offer reimbursement at various levels for our treatment. At the end of the treatment program patients receive an itemized bill with codes that they can submit to their insurance provider.