‘Smart Bomb’ Therapy Harnesses Immune System to Kill Cancer

Smart bomb therapy targets cancer cells
Smart bomb therapy targets cancer cells

Cancer researchers have been successful in using the body’s own immune system to deliver killing toxins directly to cancer cells to kill them. In what Duke Cancer Institute researches describe as “smart bomb” therapy, they have designed an antibody that binds only to certain breast cancer tumor cells, delivering its toxic payload directly into tumor cells while leaving healthy cells untouched and intact. The innovative cancer cell therapy effectively kills cancer cells from the inside out.

Lead Duke researcher, Dr. Kimberly Blackwell, director of Duke’s breast cancer program, reported at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology that the new smart bomb therapy was successful in use on patients with advanced and metastic breast cancer. Using targeted cell therapy to deliver toxins to a specific target spared patients many of the debilitating side effects typically associated with chemotherapy. (Click here for therapy specifics on Time.com.) Currently, the Duke therapy only works on HER2-positive breast tumors, but Blackwell and her team hope to expand the treatment’s effectiveness to other tumors.

Cancer cell therapy is considered one of the most promising developments in immunotherapy cancer treatments. However, Dr. Blackwell believes that targeted cancer cell therapy could prove most effective when combined with integrative immunotherapy that strengthens the entire immune system. She told Time she believes her smart bomb therapy was so effective “because we spared the immune system.” Her goal is to create immune-assisted cancer treatments that harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer without weakening that system with chemotherapy, eventually phasing out chemotherapy altogether.

“I’m convinced that my patients’ immune systems are fighting cancer as much as anything we can give them to battle the cancer,” Dr. Blackwell told Time.

For more than 60 years, Issels’ cancer treatments have pioneered the use of integrative immunotherapy and targeted cancer cell therapy to fight advanced-stage cancers with unique success.

Cancer Treatment Revolution Could End Chemotherapy

New Cancer Treatment to Null and Void Chemotherapy
New Cancer Treatment to Null and Void Chemotherapy

A cancer treatment revolution could spell the end of chemotherapy and the horrific side effects it visits on cancer patients. As reported by Time magazine, two studies recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a radically different type of anti-cancer treatment was able to achieve an astounding 83% survival rate for leukemia patients after only 2 years of treatment.

The success of the new cancer therapies could ring chemo’s death knell, an event that will not be mourned by cancer patients. Chemotherapy’s virulent side effects wreak a heavy toll on most cancer patients. Many consider the cure to be nearly as bad as the disease.

The new cancer treatments follow in the footsteps of imatinib, or Gleevec, the first mainstream cancer drug to deviate from chemotherapy’s drastic annihilation approach to cancer treatment. Following a kinder, gentler cancer treatment path, in 2001, imatinib reported similar survival rates for patients suffering from myeloid leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).

“I think we are definitely moving farther and farther away from chemotherapy, and more toward molecularly targeted therapy,” Dr. Martin Tallman, chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s leukemia service, told Time.

Unlike chemotherapy which kills both good and bad cells, evolving targeted cancer therapies take aim only at the specific pathways tumor cells need to thrive. Surrounding healthy tissues are not affected which means fewer side effects and complications for cancer patients. Standard cancer therapies are gradually moving toward the type of individually-tailored, targeted cancer therapies that Issels Integrative Oncology Centers have been offering cancer patients for decades.

More Ideas for Creating Lasting Family Legacies

Family Togetherness
Family Togetherness

Most of us think about leaving our loved ones a legacy. We want the people we love to have something tangible to remember us by when we’re gone. Cancer simply truncates the time line, compelling us to face end-of-life thoughts today rather than several decades in the future. Many cancer patients find comfort and satisfaction in creating a lasting family legacy. Focusing on the people and events that have touched your life also promotes a positive attitude that enhances the healing effects of Issels advanced alternative cancer treatments.

As we noted in our last post, family legacies can take many different forms, here is another idea:

Create a family cookbook. Collect favorite family recipes. You can include recipes from other family members, but be sure to include the recipes for all of your children’s favorite foods, even if they came from cookbooks. Your children may not know that mom’s fabulous sugar cookies came from a Betty Crocker cookbook or that the recipe for their favorite chocolate chip cookies is printed on the chocolate chip package.

And don’t forget to write down recipes for foods you whip up without thinking. That you add cinnamon and vanilla to the milk and eggs when you make French toast or that sour cream is the magic ingredient in your smooth-as-silk mashed potatoes are tricks that will allow your children to recreate for their families the favorite foods of their youth.

Consider personalizing your cookbook by adding recollections and photos. Have your cookbook printed and bound at a local copy service like Staples or Kinko’s or through an online publisher like Blurb.


Cancer Patients Find Comfort in Creating Lasting Family Legacies

Create a lasting legacy of photos and notes for your family.
Create a lasting legacy of photos and notes for your family.

With advances in both traditional and alternative cancer treatments, your odds of beating cancer are better than ever before. But cancer can take a tragic turn and it is only human to consider worst case scenarios when you receive a cancer diagnosis. Even when alternative cancer treatments achieve long-term remission as they have for many Issels’ patients, a brush with cancer is a reminder that life is fragile and our time on Earth is limited.

Creating a legacy of happy memories to leave your family can help cancer patients maintain a positive attitude during treatment. Focusing on your family can also reinforce your determination to keep fighting and search for new solutions in advanced alternative cancer treatments when traditional cancer protocols fail.

Creating a lasting family legacy can be fun and rewarding. Here are three suggestions to try:

Create a family photo book. The modern incarnation of the family scrapbook, bound family photo books can be easily creating on a number of websites. Shutterfly.com and Blurb.com are particularly popular for their easy-to-use templates and step-by-step instructions. Customizable pages allow you to upload and place photos and add descriptive text or comments. To create a meaningful legacy your family will cherish, use text blocks to share family stories and personal observations or impart words of wisdom for the next generation.

Create a family tree. Too often family history is lost with the passing of family elders. Genealogy websites such as ancestry.com can aid you in researching your family tree. Bring your family tree to life by adding family photos and annotating entries with family stories and recollections. Present your family tree in a bound book (see above) or collaborate with a talented family member to illustrate the data so it can be framed.

More family legacy ideas next time

Foods that Decrease Skin Cancer Risk

Frequent and liberal application of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF has been proven to help prevent skin cancer (click the link for full details), but there are also certain foods that can boost your body’s natural ability to protect itself against skin cancer. If you are a skin cancer or melanoma survivor, adding these foods to your diet may help increase your protection against recurring incidents of skin cancer.

Foods That Reduce Cancer
Foods That Reduce Cancer
  • Grapes have been found to offer strong natural protection against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays which are a primary cause of skin  cancer. Researchers at the University of Barcelona in Spain discovered that naturally-occurring compounds in grapes called flavonoids protect skin cells from UV radiation.
  • Milk Thistle contains the plant extract silibinin which University of Colorado researchers at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have found has the ability to kill skin cells that have been mutated by UVA radiation, the type that causes skin cancer. If they do not die, mutated cells typically turn cancerous. Silibinin also protects the skin from sunburn-causing UVB  radiation, offering a double-dose of protection.
  • Strawberries have photo-protective properties that offer natural UV ray protection, according to a study conducted at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Italy. These berries also contain powerful antioxidants that promote cell survival and minimize DNA damage.
  • Coffee lowered the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer by 11% in a study conducted by researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit. The more coffee you drink, the greater the protection. In the study, drinking 6 cups of coffee boosted skin cancer protection to 36%. Researchers suspect caffeine kills sun-damaged cells.

Lung Cancer Is Deadliest Cancer

Lung Cancer the Most Deadly Cancer
Lung Cancer the Most Deadly Cancer

With all the publicity breast cancer and prostate cancer receive, many people assume they are the top cancer killers in the U.S. While breast and prostate cancers are the two most frequently diagnosed cancers, lung cancer, only third in number of diagnoses, actually kills twice as many people as its more common cousins.

Current and former smokers comprise the majority of lung cancer victims, but non-smokers are also at risk, particularly if they have lived with a smoker or worked in a smoke-filled environment. In some cases, the dangers of second-hand smoke can elevate cancer risk to the same level of cigarette smokers.

The bad news for lung cancer victims is that the 15% 5-year survival rate has remained unchanged over the past four decades, despite the tremendous progress in cancer diagnosis and treatment that has resulted in greatly improved cancer survival rates for many other types of cancer.

Symptoms that mimic common respiratory illnesses and the late arrival of symptoms make early detection of lung cancer difficult. Researchers have been working to develop better screening procedures that could prompt earlier lung cancer discovery and treatment. At Stanford University, researchers have had some success using a lung CT scan to diagnose lung cancer. Among study participants, early detection improved lung cancer survival rates by 20%, but the high level of false positives (95%) remains problematic.

The advanced alternative cancer treatments developed by Issels Integrative Oncology have been instrumental in helping many lung cancer patients achieve complete, long-term remission of advanced lung cancer. Visit our website for case studies and patient stories.

Individualized Cancer Treatment