Issels® Concept of Cancer Development and Treatment

Issels® Integrative Oncology focuses on both the cancer tumors and the internal bodily environment, which promotes the tumor growth.

Issels Concept of Cancer Development and Treatment Chart

Published by Josef M. Issels, MD

The diagram above 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 innate cancer fighting properties.

Explanation of the Diagram Above

Pre-and postnatal endogenous and exogenous causal factors (I) 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 (II).

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 disease and 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 genetic disposition, this can develop into a chronic degenerative disease and a "tumor-milieu" (III), the ideal medium for cancer cells and microorganisms, viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma found in cancer to grow. The body has acquired the tendency to produce malignant tumors.

With the manifestation of the tumor (IV), 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 (V).

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.

Two Lines of Approach

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, chemo, and hormone therapy.
  2. Non-Toxic Immunotherapy such as cancer vaccine, 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 basic therapy fights cancer indirectly.

The?immunobiologic basic 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:

  • Elimination of causal factors, such as head foci of infection including dental, alveolar and tonsillar foci, malnutrition, abnormal intestinal flora, fields of neural disturbance, physical and chemical exogenous factors, endogenous and psychological factors.
  • Desensitization of the organism, which has been sensitized by causal factors by administration of autohemolysates and colloids.
  • Treatment of secondary damages, metabolic disturbances, the impaired detoxification and the resulting defense weakness, by general measures, such as nutritional immunotherapy, hyperpyrexia or fever therapy, oxidative therapy, enzymatic therapy, phytotherapy, neural therapy and organ therapy (glandulars), as well as substitution/supplementation according to individual requirements.

The basic 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 transit function that intervenes between all nerves, organ cells, blood, lymphatic and intestinal cells;
  • the homeostatic function;
  • the defense, detoxification and storage functions.

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 rate of recurrence after standard treatment is 50%).
  • Non-toxic preventive treatment for patients at risk, and those with pre cancerous 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.

Decades ago, Josef M Issels MD pioneered this comprehensive strategy in his worldwide first hospital practicing Immunotherapy. Issels Immuno-Oncology programs continue to adhere to this policy and offer Integrative Immunotherapy combined with modern, state-of-the-art treatment modalities. Patients come from all over the world to our treatment centers and receive highly individualized care from our expert Issels medical teams.

If you would like to speak to one of our patient advisers and/or to schedule a free consultation, or call 1-805-500-8983.

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