Tag Archives: Advanced Cancer Treatment

T-cell Senescence & Exhaustion Causing Immune Suppression Are Studied for Potential Therapy

Did you know that cells can become “tired?” Researchers explain why new discoveries on this topic have implications for improving the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy.

When T-Cells Lose Their Effectiveness

T-cells, which play a vital role in the immune system’s response to cancer, can reach a dysfunctional state known as senescence and exhaustion. Much as in humans, T-cells may get to this point naturally, simply as a result of aging. Tumors and tumor microenvironments can also trigger this process.

Not surprisingly, T-cell exhaustion results in vulnerability to infection, as the immune system loses the strength to fight off foreign organisms. Preventive vaccines become less effective, as does the T-cell response to tumor antigens.

Can T-Cell Exhaustion Be Reversed?

Recent research regarding T-cell exhaustion was reviewed by a team of researchers from Jinan University in Guangzhou, China. Yangqiu Li, MD, is lead author of the report, which was published in the Journal of Hematology & Oncology.

The good news, according to Dr. Li’s team, is that scientists have identified candidate biomarkers for T-cell exhaustion, making it easier to conduct targeted research. Eventually, the goal is to discover methods of restoring weakened T-cells to the point where they can again battle tumors with the aid of cancer immunotherapy.

One promising avenue involves the thymus, which is the gland in the lymphatic system that produces T-cells. In studies involving older adult mice, bioengineered thymus organoids and combination-cytokine techniques have demonstrated the ability to improve T-cell function.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Immunotherapy

At Issels®, our non-toxic, individually tailored immunotherapy programs have helped patients with advanced cancer achieve remission, even when other treatments have been unsuccessful. We stay current with research to ensure our protocols incorporate the latest developments.

Contact us today to learn more about “the Issels® difference.”

Results in Clinical Trials May Not Represent Results in Real Life Treatment

For patients who choose to undergo immunotherapy for cancer, new medications are often available more quickly than usual. In fact, a new study found that new medications used in immunotherapy start being used faster than the standard practice for other new medical treatments. Some of this is due to the results of clinical trials, but there are a few potential problems to consider.

Age of Clinical Trial Participants

One of the most notable differences between clinical trial participants and cancer patients is age. Those who took part in clinical trials for immunotherapy treatments tended to be younger than those treated in clinical practice. Clinical trial participants were mainly in their late 50s or early 60s, while cancer patients treated clinically were 65 and older. Knowing more about how real world populations respond to newly adopted medications for cancer involves doing more research.

Early vs. Later Clinical Trials

Another problem with beginning the use of immunotherapy medications more quickly than usual is the risk of having later clinical trials show different results compared to early trials. Fast approval is often based on the findings of early clinical trials, but there is a risk of having later trials find that medications are harmful or not as effective.

Recommendations for Rapid Adoption

Experts recommend running clinical trials that include participants who are similar to real world populations of cancer patients. Doing this should help provide findings that better reflect results for real world populations. Other recommendations include avoiding basing approval on small studies, the use of atypical patient populations, and studies that don’t compare the treatment with current alternative options that are available.

For more information on immunotherapy for cancer, please contact Issels® today. We can provide additional information on this type of cancer treatment.

Low Protein Diets May Lower the Risk of Cancer

In recent years, Keto, Paleo and other high-protein diets have been grabbing all the headlines. Despite their popularity for weight loss, a low-protein diet may be more valuable in preventing tumors, according to cancer immunotherapy studies.

Protein and the Immune System

Yes-associated protein, referred to as YAP, is found in the population of T-cells, which are the warriors of the immune system. A team of scientists conducted research to explore the effects of YAP in the immune system’s response to cancer.

Studies were done using a group of mice that were genetically engineered to have low YAP in many of the T-cell populations. In particular, research focused on the relationship between YAP and Tregs, a regulatory T-cell that’s instrumental in preventing autoimmune diseases but interferes with cancer immunotherapy.

Results indicated that YAP activity suppresses T-cell function. When YAP levels are reduced or eliminated, it serves to stimulate T-cell function, allowing them to infiltrate solid tumors and block additional tumor growth.

Since Tregs inhibit the effects of immunotherapy, targeting YAP activity toward Tregs can be a positive use. The study, which was published in Journal of Cancer Discovery, offers promising implications for new methods to improve patient responses to immunotherapy.

Potential Benefits of Low-Protein Diets

In addition to possible applications in cancer treatment, low-protein diets have been used to improve other health conditions.

  • High levels of protein put stress on the liver and kidneys, so a low-protein diet can aid people suffering from diseases of these organs.
  • Lower levels of protein may also reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
  • A low-protein diet can prevent build-up of urea, which is waste filtered by the kidneys.

Issels®: Leaders in Cancer Immunotherapy

Our personalized, non-toxic immunotherapy programs have given new hope to many patients. Contact us to learn more.


Cancer Genome Atlas Reveals an Inherent Weakness in Tumor Cells

In genetic analyses of cancer cells, scientists have focused largely on the DNA component. Thanks to a genetic database compiled over 13 years, researchers have discovered that information found in RNA may possibly enable expanded use of cancer immunotherapy.

What Is the Cancer Genome Atlas?

The Cancer Genome Atlas was a joint project between the US National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Genomics and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Genetic information from tumor cells representing 33 types of cancer was gathered from thousands of patients.

In 2017, the project came to its planned conclusion. Going forward, scientists will continue to mine the data in search of applications toward improved prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.

A New Clue in Cancer Detection

Just after the conclusion of the Atlas project, a research team headed up by Gunnar Rätsch, professor of biomedical informatics at ETH Zurich, took on an analysis of the database. They were aided by a supercomputer that was capable of processing several hundred terabytes of raw data.

RNA, which “transcribes” DNA, first undergoes a series of changes known as alternative splicing. In this process, specialized enzymes remove sections from an RNA molecule and join the remaining sides together.

While alternative splicing can take many variations, Rätsch’s team discovered tens of thousands of previously undescribed forms of splicing that were present in cancer cells. Up to 75 percent of the cases studied contained these variations, so the team is hopeful that further research could lead to using these markers for expanded cancer immunotherapy treatment.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Immunotherapy

At Issels®, we have always remained in the forefront of cancer studies and treatments. Contact us to learn more about our personalized, non-toxic programs and how they have helped patients with advanced cancer patients achieve long-term remission.

Pre-Surgical Immunotherapy May Improve Some Cancer Outcomes

As a popular saying reminds us, timing is everything, and that’s also true with cancer treatment. Researchers have discovered that pre-surgical cancer immunotherapy can improve outcomes with certain types of cancer.

How Does Immunotherapy Work?

Chemotherapy, surgery and other traditional cancer treatments have been used with varying degrees of success. Maximum dose limits and tumor resistance are some of the drawbacks that hamper their use. These therapies also affect healthy cells as well, resulting in side effects ranging from mild to serious.

As the name implies, immunotherapy aims to boost the ability of the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. Since immunotherapy is a non-toxic treatment, it potentially eliminates or reduces many of the common side effects that accompany other methods.

Since cancer cells are derived from normal cells, the immune system on its own will often ignore them. Immunotherapy serves as “reinforcements” by training the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells.

Benefits of Pre-Surgical Cancer Immunotherapy

Antibody therapy promotes the process of phagocytosis, in which macrophages actually ingest cancer cells. This treatment works best on leukemia rather than solid tumors.

Surgery is often the first course of treatment with tumors such as colorectal cancer, especially when the cancer has not yet spread, or metastasized. Unfortunately, surgery sometimes allows cancer cells to seep into the bloodstream, where they can circulate throughout the body.

Post-surgery antibody therapy has not been particularly effective. However, experimental models have shown that pre-surgical antibody therapy can stimulate phagocytosis with macrophages that are already present in the liver, which filters blood.

Personalized Therapies for Long-Term Success

Our individually-tailored therapies have helped a number of stage 4 patients achieve long-term remission, even when other treatments have failed. Contact us to learn more about the Issels® Difference.


Tel Aviv University Nanoprobes Light Up Stray Cancer Cells

New Cancer Research Is Improving Cancer Treatment
New Cancer Research Is Improving Cancer Treatment

While cancer treatment often includes surgery, even a few missed cells can lead to recurrence and metastasis. Recent development of a “smart probe” that pinpoints cancer cells may greatly improve the effectiveness of surgical options.

Challenges of Surgery as Cancer Treatment

Removal of solid tumors can still leave behind stray cells that evade detection by MRI or CT. In some cases, surgeons end up damaging otherwise healthy tissue in an effort to excise all diseased cells.

Extensive studies by an interdisciplinary team at Tel Aviv University culminated in development of a nanoprobe that literally shines a light on cancer cells. When injected into a patient a few hours before surgery begins, the probe can alert the surgeon to the presence of cancer cells that might have been missed.

“Shedding a Light” on Cancer Cells

The probe is activated by the presence of an enzyme known as cysteine cathepsins, which occurs in higher numbers in tumor cells than in healthy cells. When the probe identifies cancerous cells, it triggers a fluorescent signal in those areas, while healthy tissue remains dark.

In tests conducted on mice with melanoma and breast cancer, the survival rate of mice that underwent probe-assisted surgery was double that of the mice who received regular surgery. Now that the team has registered patents for the technology, the next step is to start clinical trials with hopes of commercially marketing the probe.

Issels®: The Leader in Personally Developed Cancer Treatment

Our comprehensive cancer treatment programs incorporate a wide range of methods in order to address each patient’s individual needs. Contact us to learn more about the “Issels® Difference.”