Dr. Josef Issels: Highlighting Our History

Ilse Marie Issels, wife of Dr. Josef M. Issels

When you visit an Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology clinic for cancer treatment, you receive the benefit of our long history of remission success using immunotherapy protocols. Our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, was a pioneer in the field of non-toxic cancer immunotherapy and Mrs. Ilse Marie Issels and their sons are proud to carry on his legacy.

Dr. Issels began the first hospital in the world dedicated to integrative immunotherapy now more commonly known as Immuno-Oncology – in his homeland of Germany. The 120-bed facility focused on patients with advanced cancers, many of whom had failed to improve their prognosis with conventional treatments.

Vaccines from the patient’s own blood and other Innovative methods developed by Dr. Issels treated the tumor, and with the same importance, its microenvironment, which includes the extracellular matrix, the blood vessels, immune cells and signaling molecules. This concept created controversy in some medical circles at the time, but research today has confirmed the importance of the microenvironment in the progression or regression of tumors.

In 1981, thanks to his extensive knowledge and outstanding success, Dr. Issels was asked to serve as a member of the German Federal Government Commission in the Fight Against Cancer. He remained on the commission until his retirement in 1987, when he brought his integrative immuno-oncology practice to the United States.

After Dr. Issels passed away in 1998, his work was continued by Ilse Marie Issels, his wife and collaborator of 40 years. She was joined by their sons, Dr. Christian N. Issels and Hellmut J. Issels. Today the Issels team, of 8 doctors at the inpatient and outpatient facilities, collaborates under the leadership of Dr. Christian N. Issels and maintains the same high standards and tireless commitment of their late founder.

We continue to treat our patients with the latest non-toxic immunobiologic cancer therapies at the Issels clinics in North America. Visit our website to learn more about what makes Issels® a leader in personalized integrative Immuno-Oncology methods.

Can a New Trial Crack Open the Secret Weak Spot of Cancer Tumors?

Finding The Weak Spot
Finding The Weak Spot

At Issels® we are always looking for ways to improve outcomes for patients whose cancer has resisted standard therapies. One recent development to watch is tumor profiling. These specialized tests analyze the genetic makeup of a tumor and may be the key for doctors to determine if another, less obvious treatment option might help.

A few recent trials have studied the results of alternative drugs that were assigned based on the results of tumor profile tests. So far, the results are very encouraging for people whose cancer has resisted initial chemotherapy or other standard treatment.

Here’s how tumor profiling can unveil the mystery of why a cancer medicine has failed:

  • The genetic testing looks for mutations present in the tumor cells.
  • Mutations are often found that have more in common with an unrelated form of cancer; for example, a colon cancer tumor could have a mutation common in breast cancer.
  • Doctors then provide treatment on a trial basis to see if the patient’s condition can be improved by a drug known to defeat the other form of cancer.

The trials have examined results in patients who had already tried other treatment options. In many cases, the metastatic cancer stopped growing or even shrunk.

One trial saw positive results in 40% of its 25 patient test group. Another trial found improvement in all 6 patients who received alternative therapies based on tumor profiling.

Seen as part of a trend toward individualized cancer treatments, these new advances place a focus on treating the patient’s disease at the genetic and cellular levels after standard therapies have failed.

To find out more about gene-targeted therapies and cell therapies, please contact us at Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology.

Put Worry to Bed and Get a Good Night’s Rest

A Good Nights Sleep
A Good Nights Sleep

When you’re coping with cancer, making sure you get a good night’s sleep can be challenging. Between worrying about your condition and dealing with symptoms, you can end up having trouble falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep throughout the night.

Benefits of Improved Sleep

Taking steps to ensure that you’re able to get restful sleep is an important part of living with cancer. A good night’s sleep gives you more energy and allows your body time to rest and recover from the day. Not getting enough sleep affects your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infection.

Tips for Getting Better Sleep

The key to improving your sleep quality while you’re coping with cancer is to make sure you’re feeling relaxed at bedtime. The following tips can help ensure that you’re in a better frame of mind for a good night’s rest:

  • Limit naps. Only allow yourself to take one nap of 45 minutes or less during the day. Just make sure you don’t nap after 4pm, or you’ll have trouble falling asleep later in the evening.
  • Unwind before bedtime. Take at least one hour to relax before going to bed. Spend this time reading, writing in a journal or listening to music instead of watching TV or using a computer or tablet.
  • Stay positive. Repeat a helpful, upbeat phrase to yourself before going to bed. Avoid researching your condition or discussing it between dinner and bedtime, which will help you feel less stressed.

If you’d like information on healthy ways to treat cancer, please contact Issels®. We offer integrative immuno-oncology programs and personalized non-toxic therapies to help you get better and feel stronger.

Extra Oxygen May Hold the Key to Stop Cancer Growth

Oxygen Is Key
Oxygen Is Key

That essential oxygen we breathe is delivered to our organs and body tissues via the blood pumped throughout our bodies. Scientists have known for quite some time that adequate oxygen is vital to healthy organs and proper brain function.

A recent cancer study using mice suggests extra oxygen could boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer cells. Immunotherapy is the cornerstone of our non-toxic treatment protocols at Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology.

Tumor growth

Most of the time, the immune system identifies and destroys abnormal cells, preventing them from developing into cancer. Once a tumor begins to develop, it has its own defenses to block attacks from the immune system. Tumors grow at a faster rate than the blood supplied oxygen can combat. This creates an oxygen-deprived environment that is more conducive to tumor growth. The lack of oxygen is a catalyst to the tumor making adenosine. The adenosine molecule neutralizes the tumor fighting T cells of the immune system.

Supplement oxygen cancer therapy

The study led by Michail Sitkovsky, who is the director of the Tissue Protection Institute at Northeastern University, used mice with lung tumors to test how extra oxygen altered the tumor created environment and helped the immune system do its job.

The tumors of mice that were in the high-oxygen group shrank. The shrinking was more significant when the mice were injected with additional T cells. What makes the results even more exciting is that oxygen is so well tolerated by the human body, unlike many traditional cancer treatments.

For more information on the benefits of immunotherapy and all the latest cancer news, visit Issels.com and sign up for our free e-Newsletter.

What Are Probiotics? How Can They Help Me?

Get Your Probiotics
Get Your Probiotics

Living healthy. This is something we see, hear, and read about on a daily basis. For many, healthy living is a choice, for many others, it’s necessary due to health issues. Either way, living a healthy lifestyle is a positive goal to focus on. At Issels ®, we focus on providing you with the help and support you need to live healthy including nutritional tips for cancer patients.

Another word you might have heard in the world of health is “probiotics.” These friendly bacteria and yeasts are good for the digestive system. They’re found in the digestive system and in certain foods such as yogurt, honey, cheese, oats, and pickles. There are also over-the-counter supplements for these friendly bacteria.

Benefits of probiotics include:

  • When your body loses bacteria, probiotics serve as a replacement
  • Probiotics keep bad bacteria that can lead to infections at low levels
  • Probiotics work as a monitor to keep good bacteria and bad bacteria balanced

For patients who are going through cancer treatment as well those who have completed treatment, studies show certain probiotic strains help reduce issues of diarrhea due to radiation treatment.

According to an article by Vanessa Wada, MS, RD, studies indicate,”these organisms have demonstrated their potential in minimizing cancer treatment side effects and reducing cancer risk.” That is encouraging.

Her report also notes liver cancer may also be affected by probiotics as well as breast cancer and bladder cancer. As positive research continues into the healthy effects of the bacteria, Dr. Wada suggests adding probiotics to the diet.

If you have questions or need information, contact our staff at Issels in the USA, Canada or abroad by phone. Or use our convenient online form and we’ll respond to your email.

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.