All posts by Nancy McCord

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.

The Benefits of Exercise during Cancer Treatments

Two people running on a beach.
Exercising to Improve Quality of Life

Perhaps you’re curious about whether or not you should continue or begin an exercise regimen while you’re undergoing cancer treatments. Many patients wonder about this, and you’ll be happy to know that there are many benefits that go along with getting adequate exercise, even while you’re having chemotherapy or radiation or for that matter even the Issels Treatment.

Among those benefits, you can expect to experience:

* Improved quality of life

* More energy throughout the day

* Less fatigue

* Decreased anxiety

* Increased self-esteem

Exercise provides you with the tools you need to build a stronger body. When it’s paired with good nutrition, you’ll find that those two things alone help you feel better than you have in a long time. Check with Your Doctor Of course, before you begin any exercise routine, whether you’re currently having cancer treatments, or if you’re in remission, it’s important to check with your doctor. He or she will be able to provide you with some suggested exercises that will work well for you at the stage you’re in right now.

Workout Intensity

If you’ve been exercising for years, and you’ve been nervous about slowing down while you’re undergoing cancer treatments, don’t worry. Most likely, you’ll only have to decrease your intensity for a little while. Once you give your body an adequate amount of time to adjust to the changes, you’ll be able to build your intensity back up again. A solid exercise routine is a big part of the foundation to your good health. After all, you’re working to improve your health now, as well as in the future.

Cancer and Stress

Exercising to Reduce Stress
Exercising to Reduce Stress

Whether you or a loved one has just been diagnosed with cancer or have been living with it for years, the importance of practicing healthy lifestyle choices is important now more than ever.

The Issels Treatment® has a proven track record of more than 50 years of long-term tumor remissions of standard therapy-resistant cancers. Whatever medical treatment you may be undergoing, learning ways to positively deal with stress related to the disease can vastly improve your quality of life.


Mild to moderate exercise (we’re not talking marathons) reduces blood pressure and keeps your heart healthy. The heart is a muscle after all. Walking or swimming for 20 to 30 minutes at least four times a week provides weight-bearing resistance and increases your heart rate. One easy way to stick with your exercise routine? Find a buddy to walk or jog with you.

Eat a Healthy Diet

It’s true. Eating the suggested six servings of fruits and vegetables a day can do wonders for your body. So you don’t feel completely cut off from your favorite foods, allow yourself to have a treat every once in a while. A glass of wine or a cup or frozen yogurt are good choices.

The Mind-Body Connection

Many holistic cancer treatments champion the mind-body connection. Doing activities that stimulate both have a two-for-one effect. Yoga or stretching exercises help regulate breathing while allowing you to focus on positive thoughts. Some experts recommend becoming involved in artistic expression – dancing, painting, writing, singing and the list goes on.

The bottom line, small changes can be the difference between living with joy or staying in fear of cancer.