All posts by Nancy McCord

The Importance of Cancer Pathology In Your Cancer Treatment

Sign Stop Cancer
Stopping Cancer

Getting an accurate diagnosis is crucial before making decisions on what type of cancer treatment to undergo. The treatment you’ll benefit from the most typically depends on what type of cancer you have and how advanced it is. One of the most effective ways to determine this is through pathology.

The Role of Pathologists

Pathologists provide in-depth diagnoses and might even end up changing a patient’s diagnosis depending on what they find, although this is rare. These specialists examine tumors and tissue in order to determine whether cancer is present, how serious it is and whether surrounding areas have been affected. They also run additional tests to see if the cancer will spread and study its nature.

Pathologists use advanced technology, including genetic sequencing, to provide an even more accurate diagnosis or to look for genetic mutations that could affect the type of treatment you need. In addition to performing these tests, pathologists consider several other factors, such as:

  • Family medical history
  • Personal medical history
  • Other health conditions
  • Age
  • Imaging tests

Taking all of these factors into considerations, along with test results, helps pathologists come up with the most effective ways to treat cancer. For example, if they find a slow-growing cancer, you might be able to put off treatment and have your condition monitored instead. If you have cancer that’s not likely to spread or a certain genetic mutation, pathologists might recommend targeted therapies. Once you have a diagnosis, you can start considering your treatment options.

If you need help finding the right non-toxic cancer treatment, please contact Issels®. We offer a wide range of nontoxic immunotherapy options for all types and stages of cancer.


Some Health Providers Alter Cancer Care Payments by Bundling

Reducing Cancer Care Costs
Reducing Cancer Care Costs

A new payment method for treating certain types of is cancer being tried by the country’s largest health insurer. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) has announced they will soon launch a pilot program with Houston based MD Anderson Cancer Center. Rather than multiple fee-for-service payments, UNH will pay the cancer center a single bundled payment for treatment of head and neck cancer.

Eliminate billing inefficiencies

The innovative payment plan is to last for three years. Studies have shown that paying several individual fees for testing, radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy cost more than the bundled payment method. UNH believes they can eliminate cost brought on by bureaucratic red tape and give both doctors and patients a better idea what the treatment will cost before it is underway.

Better coordination among doctors

Cancer treatment and related drug cost account for about 11 percent of UNH’s health plan expenditures. While treatment of head and neck cancer is a small part of that, it does involve physicians of various specialties. They will have to work together more closely under the bundled payment plan. If the pilot program does prove successful, UNH plans to expand it to the treatment of other types of cancer.

Our Approach is Different

These are just two of the many types of cancers that Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology has successfully kept in remission for thousands of patients. Without the problem of bundling by such as by some providers, Issels® is able to provide the treatment that you need instead of a “cookie cutter” approach.

For more information about the highly personalized treatment protocols, non-toxic cancer vaccines, and cell therapies used by Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology, contact us today. Our therapies are based on 60 years of successful cancer treatment and extensive scientific research.

Startling Similarity Found Between Cancer and Embryonic Cells

Cancer cells
Image of Cells

Researchers in Spain have discovered an unexpected similarity between the behaviors of cancer cells and the cells that form human embryos that could some day lead to new cancer treatments to prevent cancer from metastasizing. (Visit this link to read the original article by M. Angela Nieto of the Instituto de Neurociencias Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas published in Science magazine.)

When human embryos form, embryonic cells must migrate from the initial cellular core to new locations where they form different types of tissues and organs. When they are tasked to become heart cells or skin cells or bone cells, embryonic cells must undergo two complex genetic transformations that require remarkable cell plasticity.

In processes that involve gene splicing and micro-RNA networking, embryonic cells undergo a transformation that allows them to become mobile and move to specific designated locations in the developing body. Scientists call this process epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, or EMT. Once embryonic cells have arrived at their designated location, they undergo a second transformation that restores their ability to replicate and allows them to assume their newly assigned differentiated form heart cells or skin cells or bone cells, etc. Scientists call this “reverse” process mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition, or MET.

Spanish researchers have observed this same two-step process – EMT followed by MET — when cancer cells metastasize. EMT occurs when cancer cells leave their primary tumor and travel to other parts of the body. When they arrive at new locations, MET occurs, allowing cancer cells to replicate and form secondary tumors. Other research indicates that changes in the tumor microenvironment may initiate these processes in cancer tumors.

Cold Sore Virus Could Hold Key to New Cancer Treatments

Cold Sores Are a Cure For Cancer?
Can the Cold Sore Virus be a Cure For Cancer?

“We’re trying to give cancer a cold sore,” is how Dr. Timothy Cripe, a pediatric oncologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, explains his team’s research on viral therapy. Viral therapy uses altered forms of common viruses, such as the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores, to fight cancer. When injected into cancer tumors, viruses trigger the body’s immune system response and serve as bull’s eyes, allowing immune system cells to find and attack the tumors. To date, most viral therapy has focused on adult cancers. Dr. Cripe and his colleagues are among the first to research its potential to fight childhood cancers.

Earlier this year, research findings presented at the annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Switzerland showed promising results using modified herpes simplex virus to target liver and colorectal cancer cells. Scientists were successful in creating a genetically modified herpes virus that killed cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. One of the biggest problems with the most prevalent traditional cancer treatments — chemotherapy and radiation – is that they cast too wide a toxic net, killing both healthy and cancerous cells which can cause patients to suffer traumatic side effects.

Herpes simplex virus “doesn’t replicate in normal, healthy cells, so our hope is that it will help fight cancers without causing side effects in the rest of the body” Dr. Axel Mescheder of German biotech company MediGene said in a statement issued at the conference.

Viral therapy has the potential to join other successful, non-toxic cancer treatments such as targeted cell therapies and cancer vaccines in expanding the treatment horizons of immunotherapy.

Improving Your Quality of Life While Living with Cancer

Improving Your Quality of Life
Improving Your Quality of Life

Cancer treatment and recovery are highly personal experiences – no two patients living with cancer have exactly the same physical or emotional response, even if their treatment is identical.

But beyond the scope of the purely clinical approach to fighting off the disease, another factor enters into the equation: quality of life. People living with cancer can take steps during and after treatment to help create a better sense of normalcy. In fact, a recent study conducted by the May Clinic confirmed that quality of life programs helped people with advanced cancer.

* Counseling for patients and their families can go a long way toward easing the burdens of worry regarding treatment cost, approaching workplace issues, supporting healthier relationships and more.

* Physical activity contributes to a stronger body, a clearer mind and improved self-esteem during and after treatment. Even something as simple as a daily walk can deliver physical and emotional benefits. Your oncologist or physician can help design a workout appropriate for every portion of your treatment and recovery.

* Mental stimulation creates a “buffer” that takes the mind off some of treatment’s more distracting or distressing elements. Anything from online courses to computer games and art classes can provide a mental workout that may improve your overall outlook.

* Spiritual approaches can lift the inner self. While living with cancer, you may find your religious beliefs fortified, which provides comfort and consistency. You may choose this time of life to investigate other spiritual paths, such as meditation or yoga, to deliver enhanced peace of mind.

At Issels we are here to help by providing information and treatment options for cancer patients and families who want to know more about non-toxic cancer treatment and how to improve your health while being treated for cancer.

Personalized Cancer Therapies are the Future


Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation – for decades, these three treatments have represented the standard in cancer management, despite the risky side effects of each one.

Today, however, an alternative method to treat cancer is gaining attention from researchers, doctors and allied professionals. Cancer immunotherapies, including vaccines, is a therapy model based on a non-toxic approach that uses antibodies to stimulate the body’s own immune system to fight off malignant cells before they can form into dangerous tumors, reducing the rate of recurrence and increasing remission.

“The primary advantages of active immunotherapy are its relative lack of side effects, its specificity against target tumor cells and the generation a long-lasting memory response against tumor-specific antigens,” notes the National Institutes of Health.

Such personalized approaches have already made headlines in their survival-rate effectiveness in the treatment of some ovarian and prostate cancers.

Bringing personalized immunotherapy into the mainstream as an alternative or complementary cancer treatment has been the mission of many treatment centers. In recognition of the advancements made in this form of therapy, June has been declared “Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month” by the nonprofit Cancer Research Institute. “For 60 years, CRI has remained steadfast in its dedication to realizing immunotherapy’s potential to treat and cure cancer,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., chief executive officer and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute. “Because of this work, today safe and powerful new immune-based treatment options are finally available, and we are dedicated to increasing awareness and support to bring them to more patients sooner.”

Issels Integrative Cancer Treatment Centers specialize in targeted immunotherapy of cancer. We invite you to visit our website to find out more about how these cutting edge new therapies may be able to help you.