Category Archives: Cancer Treatment

Cancer Caregiver Tip: Talking about Cancer with Your Loved One

Are you a cancer caregiver who’s tiptoeing around your loved one because you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing? Use these tips to guide your conversations in positive and helpful directions.

Tips for Talking to a Cancer Patient

  • Don’t stress about coming up with the perfect words. This is a new situation for both of you. If you don’t know what to say, be honest about it. Your loved one will let you know what he or she needs.
  • Keep the focus on the patient. You’re there to help them, not the other way around. Talk to another friend or family member if you need a sounding board.
  • Avoid clichés or dismissive comments like “You’ll be fine” or “At least you got the ‘good’ cancer.” Of course you don’t want to be a source of doom and gloom, but minimizing the situation doesn’t make the patient feel any better.
  • Every case of cancer is different. Don’t bring up friends, family members or acquaintances and compare their situations.
  • Don’t ask for details about their cancer treatment such as blood test results or possible side effects. Let them share information if they like, but respect their personal boundaries.
  • Sometimes no words are necessary. Your loved one might want you to provide a sympathetic ear, or may prefer a period of silence. Be willing to graciously accommodate their wishes.

Personalized Cancer Treatment from Issels®

Your experience with cancer is unique, so your treatment should be also. Visit our website to learn more about cancer vaccines and other individually tailored and integrative immunotherapy for cancer treatments.

Blood Test May Detect Early Melanoma

Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, has a survival rate of up to 95 percent that is reduced nearly in half by late diagnosis. An experimental blood test for melanoma showing high degrees of accuracy could make it easier for patients to receive timely cancer treatment.

Finding Clues in the Bloodstream

Antibodies are produced by the body’s immune system to attack foreign substances, including cancer cells. A research team at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia conducted a study using blood samples to identify particular antibodies created in the immune response to melanoma.

The 245 test subjects included both melanoma patients and healthy volunteers. After the team identified a combination of 10 antibodies specific to the presence of melanoma, they were able to detect melanoma patients with 79 percent accuracy and healthy participants with 84 percent accuracy.

Progress in Early Cancer Detection

Professor Mel Ziman, leader of the project, said the team is proceeding on a trial with 1,000 participants to get the accuracy rate up to the required 90 percent level. Ziman projects that with a successful outcome, the test could be commercially available within five years.

While early detection makes a vital difference in successful melanoma treatment, current testing methods are costly and invasive. Scientists around the world are also making progress on blood tests to identify several types of cancer, including ovarian, lung and esophagus.

Better Testing = More Effective Cancer Treatment

Issels® uses extensive standard and genomic testing to determine the specific course of cancer treatment best suited for each patient. Visit our website for more information about our state-of-the-art diagnostic methods.

Please visit our newly updated website for more information on the Issels Cancer Treatment.

Tips for Coping with a New Cancer Diagnosis

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your mental and emotional adjustment can make a difference during your course of immuno oncology treatment. Unfortunately, most people have no frame of reference for coping with such news.

The American Cancer Society offers helpful tips for coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis and continuing to live life to the fullest.

Follow Your Own Path

Your situation is unique. Others may offer ideas of what has worked for them, but don’t feel obligated to follow them to the letter. View these tips as suggestions and try out different methods to find your own best solution.

Learn About Your Cancer

Knowledge is power. The unknown is often more frightening than the reality, so take time to educate yourself about your type of cancer and the various treatment options that are available.

Stay Active

The link between exercise and mood is well-documented. Physical activity stimulates production of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. Consult with your doctor to make sure you’re not overdoing it.

Let Your Feelings Out

Many people believe that fear, anger and other negative emotions must remain hidden, but that can make your situation even harder to bear. Talk to friends and family, join a support group or try an artistic outlet such as writing or painting.

Be Kind to Yourself

Make a point each day of doing something that makes you happy, whether it’s meeting a friend for lunch or simply meditating for 15 minutes.

Issels®: Immuno Oncology Personally Created for You

Our non-toxic immunotherapy programs are individually designed to meet your specific needs. Contact us to learn more about the Issels Cancer Treatment.

Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage

Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage
Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage

Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, has a survival rate of up to 95 percent that is reduced nearly in half by late diagnosis. An experimental blood test for melanoma showing high degrees of accuracy could make it easier for patients to receive timely cancer treatment.

Finding Clues in the Bloodstream

Antibodies are produced by the body’s immune system to attack foreign substances, including cancer cells. A research team at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia conducted a study using blood samples to identify particular antibodies created in the immune response to melanoma.

The 245 test subjects included both melanoma patients and healthy volunteers. After the team identified a combination of 10 antibodies specific to the presence of melanoma, they were able to detect melanoma patients with 79 percent accuracy and healthy participants with 84 percent accuracy.

Progress in Early Cancer Detection

Professor Mel Ziman, leader of the project, said the team is proceeding on a trial with 1,000 participants to get the accuracy rate up to the required 90 percent level. Ziman projects that with a successful outcome, the test could be commercially available within five years.

While early detection makes a vital difference in successful melanoma treatment, current testing methods are costly and invasive. Scientists around the world are also making progress on blood tests to identify several types of cancer, including ovarian, lung and esophagus.

Better Testing = More Effective Cancer Treatment

Issels® uses extensive standard and genomic testing to determine the specific course of cancer treatment best suited for each patient. Visit our website for more information about our state-of-the-art diagnostic methods.

New Research Using a Molecule to Target Proteins that Grow Cancer Tumors

New Research Using a Molecule to Target Proteins that Grow Cancer Tumors
New Research Using a Molecule to Target Proteins that Grow Cancer Tumors

One of the benefits of immunotherapy for cancer is that it doesn’t carry the same debilitating side effects as more traditional treatments. Researchers in Australia made a significant breakthrough in the field with its work on “designer molecules” that inhibit growth of cancer cells.

Stopping Cancer at “Ground Zero”

The study, conducted by a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Adelaide, involved a protein called proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). PCNA’s donut-like shape lets DNA slide through its center, where it is then replicated.

As explained by project leader Dr. John Bruning, while PCNA is required for DNA replication, it’s overexpressed in 90 percent of all cancers. The team set out to find a way to target PCNA, thereby preventing cancer cells from multiplying.

Creating a Barrier to Cancer Cell Proliferation

Bruning’s team successfully created a drug-like molecule using a protein that naturally interacts with PCNA. They were also able to change the chemistry to keep it from degrading as it does in its natural form.

PCNA rarely mutates, making it less likely to develop resistance against the “designer molecule,” which has demonstrated greater effectiveness than previous forms of PCNA inhibitors with less chance of side effects.

According to Bruning, the use of a natural protein in the creation of the molecule allows for more precise targeting of PCNA. Bruning is hopeful that his team’s work will usher in the development of a whole new class of drugs.

Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®: Using the Body’s Own Resources

Our immunotherapy for cancer programs boost the ability of the body’s immune system to fight tumors. Visit our website to learn more.

Liver Cancer Rates Rise and Becomes the Sixth Deadliest Cancer

Liver Cancer Rates Are Rising
Liver Cancer Rates Are Rising

Thanks in part to the improved effectiveness of immunotherapy cancer treatment, overall death rates due to this disease have been dropping over the past few decades. Unfortunately, liver cancer death rates have been going in the opposite direction.

Liver Cancer Death Rates Climb

According to a July 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), death rates for all forms of cancer combined have declined since 1990. But in the period from 2000-2016, liver cancer death rates for ages 25 and up rose a dramatic 43 percent.

The increase breaks down to 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016 compared to 7.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2000. As a result, liver cancer moved from the ninth-leading cause of cancer deaths up to the sixth spot.

Behind the Numbers

Patients with other types of cancer, such as breast, lung and colon, have benefited from better diagnostic and treatment procedures. In addition, lower rates of people are developing these forms of cancer than in the past.

The same can’t be said for liver cancer. Rates of developing this disease have remained fairly steady, while diagnostic and treatment methods are not as effective as those for other cancers.

Within overall liver cancer death rates, the numbers were highest for adults aged 75 and up. Dr. Jeffery Drebin, liver cancer surgeon at NYC’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, explains that it’s primarily due to long-term effects of liver inflammation.

Personalized Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Our immunotherapy cancer treatment programs are individually created to address the needs of patients with liver cancer and other therapy-resistant tumors. Contact us for more information.