Tag Archives: Advanced Cancer Therapies

Tumor Heterogeneity: Why Some Tumors Metastasize or are Drug Resistant

Each Body Is Unique, and So Is Curing Each Cancerous Tumor.
Each Body Is Unique, and So Is Curing Each Cancerous Tumor.

For decades, scientists have tried to uncover the mysteries behind the complex behaviors of cancer cells. Thanks to gene sequencing and other molecular diagnosis tools, they are beginning to understand the process behind metastasis and drug resistance.

Solving the Puzzles of Metastasis and Drug Resistance

Cancer treatment is sometimes hampered by two significant problems:

Metastasis, or stage IV cancer, occurs when cancer cells migrate from the original site to other parts of the body. Surgery is no longer an option at stage IV, which significantly reduces survival rates.

• Drug resistance sets in when treatment reaches a point where cancer cells are no longer vulnerable to attack and they resume spreading.

Scientists have discovered that cancer cells can vary greatly between the original site and metastatic site, and even within a single tumor. This characteristic is referred to as tumor heterogeneity.

How Does Tumor Heterogeneity Affect Cancer Treatment?

Research has uncovered significant evidence demonstrating that cancer cells continue to evolve.

Gene mutations can create a subset of cancer cells with the ability to break away from the original tumor site.

• Drugs that target specific cancer cells can lose effectiveness as the original mutations are lost.

Doctors are using this knowledge of tumor heterogeneity to prescribe combination therapies that attack multiple genetic and molecular targets.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Combination Therapies

Our individual immunotherapy programs are integrative, combining treatments that work together to form a comprehensive attack on cancer cells. Contact us to learn why Issels® is the right choice for powerful and non-toxic cancer treatment for patients in late and early stages.

One in five US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer

1 in 5 US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer
1 in 5 US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer

Rare cancers are more common than you think. As a group, they make up about 20% of all cancer diagnoses. However, each specific type of rare cancer is still very dangerous because the symptoms are often misdiagnosed. At Issels®, we often see patients whose rare cancer went undiagnosed despite several rounds of doctor visits and tests.

The American Cancer Society recently shed light on the frequency of rare cancer diagnoses:

  • Rare cancer is defined by annual diagnoses in less than 6 out of 100,000 people
  • 71% of all cases in people under 20 years old are rare types
  • 39% of all cases in people 20 to 39 years old are rare types
  • Younger people have better survival rates for rare cancer than older people

Together, Learning More About Rare Cancers

In some cases, standard cancer treatment fails to work as well as it does for common types of cancer. On the other hand, the ACS notes that innovations in rare cancer treatment often help scientists develop better treatment for all types of cancers.

After a rare cancer diagnosis, it can be difficult to find information if your physicians are not very familiar with the disease. We specialize in advanced stage cancer treatment at Issels®, including rare types of the disease that are not responding well enough to standard therapies.

At Issels®, we offer individualized treatments including cancer vaccines developed using the patient’s own autoimmune cells. Such treatments, known as immunotherapy, are helping patients with standard therapy–resistant and advanced stages of cancer.

Learn more about our integrative immunotherapy approach to cancer treatment on our website or contact us for more info.

Higher Genetic Mistakes in Tumors May Predict a Better Result for Immunotherapy Treatment

Immunotherapy Can Expand Options for Those With Limited Cancer Treatment Options
Immunotherapy Can Expand Options for Those With Limited Cancer Treatment Options

For many patients with difficult-to-treat tumors, immunotherapy for cancer has successfully expanded their previously limited options. According to a study recently presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, a new immunotherapy drug has shown promise for treatment of advanced bladder cancer.

The Power of Checkpoint Inhibitors

Researchers speaking at the ASCO conference in Chicago last June reported on the results of clinical trials for atezolizumab, marketed under the name Tecentriq. Atezolizumab is one of a growing number of treatments referred to as checkpoint inhibitors.

Cancer cells often get a foothold by flying under the radar of immune cells, which are your body’s main line of defense against bacteria, viruses and other “invaders.” Checkpoint inhibitors target a molecule called PD-L1, thereby releasing immune cells to attack and kill the rogue cancer cells.

Tumors with “High Mutational Burden” Respond to Immunotherapy

A follow-up analysis to the bladder cancer trials indicated that tumors with a “high mutational burden,” which refers to the number of genetic faults in the cells, appear to be more receptive to immunotherapy. Dr. Jonathan Rosenburg of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC explained that it was made easier for the immune system to identify the mutated cells in such tumors.

Issels®: A Leader in Immunotherapy for Cancer

Our state-of-the-art non-toxic immunotherapy treatments have been used successfully on patients with all forms of cancer, including bladder, breast and melanoma. Visit our website to learn more about our cancer vaccines, gene-targeted therapies and other protocols individually designed to address your specific needs.

July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, Will You Be Wearing the Yellow Ribbon?

New Immunotherapy Drug Can Help Fight Bladder Cancer
New Immunotherapy Drug Can Help Fight Bladder Cancer

If you or someone you love has received a diagnosis of bladder cancer or is in stage four and have exhausted treatment options, NBC news reports that there may be new hope for immunotherapy treatment for bladder cancer. This information is timely as July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.

Immunotherapy treatments

Immunotherapy for bladder cancer works by treating a person’s immune system so it has the ability to fight cancer.

According to the NBC news article, “more successful approaches, involve training immune cells to recognize a patient’s specific tumors, or finding and amplifying a patient’s own tumor-specific immune cells.” Immunotherapy now appears to be the best course of cancer treatment for many patients.

New drug, new hope

Hope now lies in a drug newly-approved by the FDA called atezolizumab (brand name Tecentriq) that boosts the immune system to slow the spread of tumors in patients in the advanced stages of bladder cancer. It’s the latest development in immunotherapy for bladder cancer treatments and it has shown promising results.

In a study of 119 patients who received the drug as treatment revealed that growth stopped in the tumors in 24% of those patients in the advanced stages of bladder cancer. The drug also shrank the tumors by 30%. According to the research team, 21 of the original patients from 2014 who received the immunotherapy for bladder cancer are still in remission today.

Learn more about our non-toxic immunotherapy for bladder cancer by contacting Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology.

New Advances in Immunotherapy Make the News

In The News
In The News

New Advances in Immunotherapy Treatment for Cancer Targeted immunotherapy for cancer Traditional treatments for cancer take a slash ‘n burn approach, poisoning the entire body in hopes of killing off the cancer cells faster than the healthy cells. Targeted therapies that seek out and kill cancer cells while sparing all others have long been the dream of cancer researchers. Some progress towards targeted therapies has been made. For example, Herceptin and Glivec have given new hope to patients with breast cancer and leukemia.

Immunotherapy is the New “Silver Bullet” for Cancer

Using the immune system to kill cancer cells has always seemed to be a good idea. After all, the immune system’s entire purpose is to seek out diseased cells and destroy them while sparing the healthy cells. What better tool to wipe out cancer cells? Of course this raised the question of why the immune system doesn’t naturally seek out and destroy cancer cells.

The discovery of how some cancer cells manage to stop the immune system from killing them opened up a whole new way to approach cancer treatments. Many cancer cells express a protein called PD-L1 on their surfaces. When T cells (part of the immune system) attempt to kill the abnormal cancer cells the PD-L1 binds to PD-1 on the surface of the T cells. This stops the T cells from attacking the cancer cells.


A drug called Nivolumab that blocks the interaction of PD-1 with tumor-expressed PD-L1 is the first of the drugs targeting this pathway to make it to the market. In clinical trials Nivolumab has extended the lifespan of patients with advanced melanoma. Without Nivolumab most patients with advanced melanoma don’t survive for a year after diagnosis but with Nivolumab 63% were alive a year later, and even more remarkable 43% were alive two years later.

Nivolumab is only the first of many treatments that will “unmask” tumor cells to the immune system, allowing the immune system to do what it does best- target and kill diseased cells. Other companies have drugs in development targeting the PD-1 pathway.

Immune system unmasking drugs will join cancer vaccines and other therapies intended to use the immune system to fight cancer naturally. Issels Integrative Oncology has been offering individualized immunotherapy for over 60 years to cancer victims.

Cancer News Roundup for July

The Latest In Cancer Treatment
The Latest In Cancer Treatment

The latest in cancer treatment news for July:

  • Rogue cancer cells in blood could help explain how tumors evolve as genes change over time, leading to new cancer treatments.
  • Study finds faulty process in muscle-invasive bladder cancer, pointing to EGRF targeting drugs as possible cancer treatment.
  • The National Cancer Research Institute points to the need for age limits in clinical trials to be more flexible to allow teenage cancer patients greater access to new treatments.
  • Genetic research identifies three rare pathogenic mutations not previously known in public gene sequencing databases known to predispose carriers to breast and Lynch syndrome spectrum cancers.
  • A new research report shows antihistamines used to treat colds, allergies and insect bites may play a role in warding off tumors.
  • Study shows men over 50 who cycle more than nine hours a week are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Looking for more information on cancer treatment specific to yourself or a loved one? Contact Issels today. Issels offers the latest and most effective alternative cancer therapies available.