Research: New Blood Test ID’s Breast Cancer Patients Who May Relapse

Research: New Blood Test ID's Breast Cancer Patients Who May Relapse
Research: New Blood Test ID’s Breast Cancer Patients Who May Relapse

In addition to fighting primary tumors, immunotherapy for cancer aims to prevent future recurrence. Scientists recently made a major breakthrough with the discovery of an indicator of possible relapse in patients with HR-positive breast cancer.

Searching for Clues to Breast Cancer Recurrence

Breast cancer treatment has improved significantly, but unfortunately many women are subject to recurrence five years or more beyond the original diagnosis. The risk is even higher in the case of HR-positive breast cancer, which constitutes more than 50 percent of all breast cancer cases.

A team at Albert Einstein Cancer Center in New York conducted a study of circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, in breast cancer patients. Blood samples came from participants in a previous trial combining a vascular endothelial growth factor called bevacizumab with chemotherapy in post-surgery treatment.

Could a Blood Test Be the Answer?

At the time of the previous trial, none of the participants displayed evidence of recurrence. After a median follow-up period of 1.6 years, the team found nearly 20 times increased risk of recurrence in HR-positive patients who also had a positive CTC assay result. There was no corresponding increase in patients with HR-negative breast cancer.

According to team leader Dr. Joseph A. Sparano, the team was surprised to see that the rate of recurrence was so high. Scientists are now planning to study negative CTC tests to determine if they can serve as negative predictor markers.

Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment for Advanced Tumors

Thanks to our state-of-the-art immunotherapy for cancer treatments, many patients with Stage 4 breast cancer have been able to achieve long-term remission. Contact us for more information.

Testosterone Treatment May Prevent Loss of Body Mass and Muscle Atrophy During Cancer Treatment

Testosterone Treatment May Prevent Loss of Body Mass and Muscle Atrophy During Cancer Treatment
Testosterone Treatment May Prevent Loss of Body Mass and Muscle Atrophy During Cancer Treatment

Testosterone is a naturally produced hormone associated with maintenance of muscle mass and strength. Scientists are now studying the potential of using testosterone to combat muscle atrophy that may occur during immunotherapy for cancer and other treatments.

Cachexia: A Major Side Effect of Cancer

About half of all cancer patients experience a condition known as cachexia. Characterized by loss of body mass, weakness and fatigue, cachexia is serious enough to be instrumental in 22 percent of cancer deaths.

One of the problems is that scientists have little information about the causes of cachexia. As a result, there are almost no options to manage this condition in cancer patients. Nutritional treatments can lessen fatigue, but can’t counteract muscle loss.

Can Hormone Therapy Fight Muscle Loss and Fatigue?

Armed with the knowledge that testosterone builds muscle in healthy people, a research team at the University of Texas in Galveston set out to see if the same would hold true with cancer patients. The trial group included individuals diagnosed with a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

While undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or both, patients received a seven-week course of either testosterone or a placebo. Testosterone recipients maintained total body mass while increasing lean body mass by 3.2 percent.

The team’s next step is to analyze muscle proteins and determine how cancer affects them. Their eventual goal is to prevent cachexia from affecting cancer patients’ quality of life.

Issels®: The Leader in Immunotherapy for Cancer

At Issels®, our non-toxic immunotherapy for cancer programs don’t carry the risk of side effects found in traditional treatments. Visit our website for more information.

Innovative Research Aims to Snatch Cancer Cells by Magnetism and Nanoparticles

Innovative Research Aims to Snatch Cancer Cells by Magnetism and Nanoparticles
Innovative Research Aims to Snatch Cancer Cells by Magnetism and Nanoparticles

The more precise diagnostic methods are, the more effective immunotherapy for cancer can be. In a case of “opposites attract,” scientists recently took a giant step toward improved diagnostics with the principles of magnetism.

Putting a “Charge” in Cancer Cells

Liquid biopsy is a cancer screening technique in which blood is drawn from a patient and tested for circulating tumor cells, or CTCs. Unfortunately, CTCs are so few and far between that the blood sample may be completely free of them, resulting in a false diagnosis.

In a study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, a team of researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine tested a group of pigs with CTCs in their bloodstream.

– The CTCs were first tagged with a nanoparticle containing magnetic properties.

– In the next step, a small wire was inserted near the pig’s ear in a vein that is comparable to the ones in a human arm.

– As the tagged tumor cells drifted by, the magnetic pull caused them to stick to the wire, which was then removed from the vein.

What’s Next?

Not only did the magnetic method detect 10 to 80 times more CTCs than a typical liquid biopsy, it found 500 to 5,000 more tumor cells than an earlier wire-based model. Dr. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir of Stanford expressed hope that the wire device could have applications for cancer treatment as well as diagnosis.

Thorough and Non-Invasive Diagnostic Procedures at Issels®

Our extensive diagnostic procedures let us create a personalized immunotherapy for cancer program that incorporates a number of complementary methods to treat the tumor along with its environment. Contact us for more information.

Gas Embolotherapy Combined with Ultrasound May Block Cancer Tumor’s Blood Supply

New Cancer Treatments Are Being Studied Worldwide
New Cancer Treatments Are Being Studied Worldwide

Scientists are constantly searching for methods of cancer treatment that will kill tumor cells without affecting healthy tissue, thereby avoiding common side effects. A research team recently found that bubbles may be a surprising vehicle for starving tumors and delivering anti-cancer drugs.

“Starving” Cancer Cells

Tumor cells rely on a steady blood supply to furnish oxygen and nutrients required to multiply and spread to other parts of the body. In its absence, tumors use a process called angiogenesis to create new blood vessels.

Scientists had previously created a class of drugs known as angiogenesis inhibitors, which effectively halt blood vessel development. Embolization is an alternate method that incorporates drugs or nano-sized beads to block blood vessels.

A Non-Surgical Option to Defeat Cancer?

Gas embolization is a variation in which bubbles are used to create a blockage. Prof. Yi Feng and a team of scientists at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China conducted a study using blood vessel-rich intestinal tissue from rats.

In the first step, droplets of dodecafluoropentane, a fluorocarbon often used for conversion to gas microbubbles, were injected into the blood vessels. An ultrasound was then applied in a technique known as acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV).

As a result, the droplets formed bubbles that congregated in an area, with some of them uniting to create larger bubbles, effectively blocking the blood vessels. The team is hopeful that gas embolotherapy may eventually be used as a “double punch” attack on cancer.

Immunotherapy: Individually Created Cancer Treatment

For years, Issels® has helped patients with our non-toxic cancer treatment programs that boost the body’s own immune system. Visit our website for more information.

Personalized Immunotherapy: The Future for Cancer Treatment One Story

Immunotherapy is Changing Cancer Treatment Again in Exciting New Ways
Immunotherapy is Changing Cancer Treatment Again in Exciting New Ways

At Issels®, we recognize that successful cancer treatment is designed for a patient’s individual needs. This immunotherapy approach recently saved the life of one woman whose recurring breast cancer was spreading to other parts of her body.

“Two to Three Months to Live”

In 2003, Judy Perkins of Port St. Lucie, Florida underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Just over two years ago the cancer returned, resulting in tennis-ball-sized tumors throughout her torso, including the lymph nodes.

This time around, Perkins was treated by Dr. Steven Rosenberg and his team at the National Cancer Institute. Rosenberg’s career has been devoted to the field of immuno-oncology, which involves finding ways to help the body’s own immune system attack and destroy cancer cells.

Weaponizing the Immune System

Rosenberg and his team began by obtaining samples of the tumors to sequence DNA and analyze tumor-fighting immune cells called lymphocytes. The scientists were then able to identify the specific gene mutations that allowed cancer cells to multiply and spread.

After determining which lymphocytes were most effective against the mutations, the team grew those cells in the lab and re-introduced them to Perkins’ system. In addition to doses of interleukin 2 and an immunotherapy drug approved by the FDA in 2017, Perkins received one last round of chemotherapy.

All tumors disappeared, and Perkins remains cancer-free today. Rosenberg is optimistic that this success will propel immunotherapy research to more breakthroughs.

Personalized, Integrative Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Many patients with advanced and therapy-resistant cancers have achieved long-term remission through our cancer treatment programs. Contact us to learn more.

When Cancer is Whispering, Be Persistent and Get Help with Early Treatment

Worried You May Have Cancer - Get Help!
Worried You May Have Cancer – Get Help!

Do you find yourself ignoring minor but nagging health symptoms, assuming they’re not worth a trip to the doctor’s office? Seeking help during this “whisper stage” can be the key to timely and effective cancer treatment.

When Cancer Acts Like Something Else

When actress Fran Drescher first heard her body’s “whispers,” she didn’t fit the usual profile of uterine cancer patients, so her doctor didn’t even consider an endometrial biopsy. Instead, Drescher was diagnosed with a perimenopausal condition and put on four separate hormone replacement therapies, which nearly proved fatal.

Fortunately, Drescher trusted what her body was telling her. She continued to seek help, and after two years and eight doctors, she finally received the correct diagnosis of uterine cancer.

Putting Good Health First

Drescher’s experience prompted her to form Cancer Schmancer, a charitable organization that educates people about taking a proactive approach toward prevention and early detection of cancer.

Here are some of Drescher’s top tips for taking charge of your health.

– Don’t cut corners on health care. Investing in your health is the best financial decision you’ll ever make.

– Listen to your body when it begins “whispering.’ Even if it turns out to be nothing, your peace of mind is worth a doctor appointment.

– Educate yourself. The digital revolution has put unprecedented amounts of information at your fingertips.

– Be assertive. If your symptoms don’t improve, or you feel you’re not being taken seriously, don’t be afraid to seek second and third opinions.

Cancer Treatment Designed Just for You

At Issels®, our comprehensive immunotherapy programs are created with each patient’s specific needs in mind. Contact us for more information.

Individualized Cancer Treatment