Traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are directed at fighting tumors head-on. Immunotherapy for cancer, which is aimed at making the body’s immune system more effective against tumors, has created a fundamental change in the way doctors approach treatment.
A Long-Held “Medical Dream” Becomes Reality
While the earliest attempts at immunotherapy date back more than 100 years, it presented too much of a puzzle to doctors. As a result, radiation and chemotherapy surpassed immunotherapy as the treatments of choice for cancer.
As modern research with immunotherapy uncovered more effective methods with documented track records, medical and financial floodgates have opened. Charitable organizations, pharmaceutical companies and the federal government are dedicating billions of dollars to fund hundreds of trials involving various treatments on every type of cancer.
Boosting the Body’s Own Immune System
While there is still much to learn, researchers are focusing primarily on two types of immunotherapy for cancer:
- In the first method, a doctor removes some of the patient’s own immune cells and creates genetic alterations enabling them to attack cancer cells, at which point they are added back to the bloodstream.
- The second method makes use of drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors, which block the mechanism used by cancer cells to evade detection and attack by the immune system.
Issels®: Leading the Way in Immunotherapy for Cancer
Our immunotherapy center has continued the groundbreaking work of our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, using state-of-the-art therapies to treat patients with all forms of cancer. Contact us today to learn more about our non-toxic treatments such as cancer vaccines and NK cells.