Foundation Works to Create Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

Creating Awareness
Creating Awareness

Next week in November we celebrate Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that in the U.S. pancreatic cancer comprises just 3 percent of cancer cases, yet it accounts for 7 percent of fatalities? For those affected by the disease, information and support can be harder to find compared to more common forms of cancer.

When Herb Kosten passed away in 2003, his family decided to form an organization to provide support and awareness for pancreatic disease in the Memphis area. The foundation has also provided half a million dollars in research funding to a local university.

As the late Kosten’s brother Alan says, the family could find no information about pancreatic cancer besides what the doctor told them.

As proponents of individualized care and integrative immuno-oncology, we at Issels® support the idea that fighting cancer takes groundbreaking research as well as a holistic approach to patient care. In addition to funding research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the Herb Kosten Foundation hosts a support group for patients and family members. As the only pancreatic cancer support group within hundreds of miles, this provides a major source of comfort and empowerment to people who need it.

Treatment for pancreatic cancer often involves a difficult surgery that takes an entire day and often leads to complications. With a mortality rate around 90 percent, those affected by the disease seek to rally awareness and support for additional research in the quest for a cure.

At the Issels® Center for Integrative Immuno-Oncology, we continue to seek and improve personalized non-toxic treatments for pancreatic cancer and other aggressive forms of the disease. Contact us today to find out about our non-toxic treatments that combine immunotherapy and other alternative options available.

Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too

Men can get breast cancer too!
Men can get breast cancer too!

Although rare, breast cancer does affect men. Roughly 1 percent of all cases occur in men, meaning a few thousand U.S. males are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. As with female breast cancer, the male form typically begins with lumps and progresses if untreated.

The way men seek diagnosis and treatment has evolved over the years. As awareness campaigns and media spotlight increased the visibility of the disease, a larger number of men are getting screened and treated for breast cancer risk factors.

The Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator recently reported a trend of men electing to undergo a double mastectomy as treatment — and as a preventive measure upon discovering genetic risk factors. A recent JAMA Surgery study found that contralateral prophylactic mastectomy surgery had risen from 3 percent to 5.6 percent among male patients with one tumor.

“A Culture of Awareness”

The increase in male patients receiving mastectomies comes on the heels of other recent reports about changes in the way breast cancer is diagnosed and treated. Some research has suggested that frequent mammograms in women had led to over-diagnosis.

The preventive double mastectomy option — highlighted by actress Angelina Jolie’s treatment due to BRCA1 gene mutation — has sparked debate about elective surgery conducted based on risk factors rather than the presence of cancer.

Authors of the JAMA Surgery have concluded that men should carefully weigh all options when facing information about breast cancer risks and cancer treatment options. Tissue removal may only be beneficial for some patients.

For more information about innovative cancer treatments, contact us at Issels®. We provide non-toxic therapies and immunotherapy, with an emphasis on personalized care.

Sponge-Like Implant IDs Early Cancer Metastatic Cells for Earlier Treatment

Early Detection
Early Detection

An exciting new development in the battle against all forms of cancer has been announced by the journal Nature Communications. Engineers have devised a sponge-like apparatus that attracts the attention of cancer cells, causing them to cluster—not in an organism’s organ—but on the man-made apparatus. This represents a step toward controlling metastatic cells in patients suffering from breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer in the future.

FDA Approved Material

The device is made of a sponge-like “biomaterial” that has already received FDA approval for use in medical devices. Although it has only been used in lab rodents with breast cancer, the material could be tested in humans very soon. It works like a decoy to attract cancer cells and distract them from clustering in the body’s organs. So far, the results have been promising, and researchers are eager to begin the next phase.

An Effective Decoy

Ordinarily, cancer cells break loose from a tumor and are attracted to other areas in the body by immune cells. In the research results, these immune cells flocked to the sponge-like material, which is its natural reaction to any foreign body. The cancer cells end up being caught in the device and consequently reduced the numbers present at other sites, preventing them from colonizing other organs in the live test rodents and enabled researchers to extract them from the body while they remained inside the absorbent sponge-like material.

These findings are very positive and represent the ongoing strides that are being taken in the quest for a cancer cure. However, treatments like this will have to go through many stages before they can be made available to the public. To stay informed about the latest treatments available, and to receive more information about non-toxic cancer treatments, contact the Issels® Center for Immuno-Oncology.

Presence of the Protein CSN6 in Bowel Tumors Linked to a Poorer Bowel Cancer Prognosis

Protein Found In Bowel Tumors.
Protein Found In Bowel Tumors.

The Issels® Center for Immune-Oncology reports that a study conducted by researchers based at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that the presence of a specific protein molecule in bowel tumor samples indicate a less favorable prognosis.

Samples from patients suffering from bowel cancer were examined for a protein molecule called CSN6. This protein molecule is a regulator for multiple pathways. Among other things, it regulates some cell life cycles. Researchers looked at tissue samples from the actual tumor. In cases where the CSN6 molecule was found to be present, the colorectal cancer prognosis was determined to have a much shorter recurrence-free survival rate. In other words, where this protein molecule was found, those patients were more likely to have a recurrence of the colorectal cancer than in patients whose tumor samples did not contain the protein molecule.

These findings could be helpful in determining the best course of treatment for patients. The molecule itself could potentially be a future treatment target after further studies on its different pathways and possible molecular alterations. Bowel cancer patients can have the tumor tissue sample analyzed for the presence of the CSN6 molecule. If found, those patients would warrant closer monitoring and more frequent follow-up visits to catch future cancer recurrence as soon as possible.

Though these findings sound negative at first reading, they have very positive possibilities for colorectal patients. Using this discovery, higher risk patients could have a better chance of survival than before.

To learn more about the results of this study, or to find out more ways to handle a bowel cancer diagnosis, please contact us today at Issels®.

New Liquid Biopsy Finds Cancer Markers Even Before Illness for Early Action

Test tubes in a laboratory
Liquid Testing

The detection of cancer has just taken a step forward. Historically, a cancer diagnosis came right out of the blue, sometimes without warning or symptoms. Issels® Center for Immuno-Oncology, reports that a new liquid biopsy test is changing that history, proving the ability to diagnose if a person is at risk through study of their genes.

Pathway Genomics, a global health and research company, has developed a liquid biopsy test which can detect cancerous mutant DNA in completely healthy people. A liquid biopsy is an examination of fluid or blood drawn from the individual to find cancer cells within the blood. The test utilizes gene sequencing to compare genetic markers within the person’s blood sample. Those markers are then contrasted with genetic markers found in common cancers such as ovarian, breast, lung, and colon cancers. If there are genetic markers that match, then the test has found evidence that the patient is at risk of contracting said cancer in the future.

One downside to the liquid biopsy is it can only detect up to a certain point. That limit is determined by how much we already know about cancers. Until we understand more, this test is limited, as the patient might have a rare cancer. Experts have also warned that ill-informed patients could learn of a genetic anomaly and panic, potentially taking drastic steps in reaction to something that was simply natural.

With that said, this new non-invasive liquid biopsy is a life saver to those unaware that they’re at risk. It’s worth keeping track of this new diagnostic test. For more information about cancer and its treatment, contact Issels®.

50% of Ovarian Cancer Patients Missed Early Treatment

Missed Early Treatment
Missed Early Treatment

A shocking study published by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston concluded that half of the patients eligible for intraperitoneal/intravenous chemotherapy, a form of treatment that is delivered into the body cavity and the veins of a patient, did not receive the treatment, even though they could have because they were eligible. The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and frequent urination, though often these symptoms are mistaken for other minor problems.

It’s important to check with a doctor if you are experiencing strange symptoms in the lower abdominal region, as they are often more than just a reaction to digestion. Ovarian cancer is so dangerous because most patients only find out about it when it’s too late, and not earlier when it could have been prevented and or mitigated. A study performed in 2006 showed that this cancer treatment led to over a year where the disease exhibited no signs of progression. It also said that people who took this treatment lived four to five years longer than those who only took intravenous treatment.

It’s critical to survival rates to discover ovarian cancer before it’s too late; a whopping one-third of those who receive treatment early are reported to live ten years longer than those who didn’t receive any at all.

At Issels®, the Center for Immuno-Oncology, we are committed to helping all our patients experience the best survival rate possible following an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Through a combination of better eating habits and non-toxic treatment options, your prognosis has never had a more shining future. Contact us today for more information.