Earlier this year, two groups performed tests on CAR T cells designed to target B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), a protein specific to myeloma.
Researchers in China conducted a study in which 33 of 35 patients went into complete remission within two months of treatment.
A team in Tennessee administered different doses of the CAR T cells to 21 patients. Beyond the first-level dose, patients experienced a 100 percent response rate, with 27 percent achieving a stringent complete response indicating no presence of the disease.
In another encouraging result, patients in both trials who experienced side effects were able to be successfully treated.
How CAR T Cells Fight Cancer
Unlike more traditional forms of cancer treatment, CAR T cells fall under the umbrella of immunotherapy. A patient’s individual immune cells are harvested from their blood, then engineered to target antigens, which are foreign bodies that trigger an immune response.
The CAR T cells are multiplied until they reach a quantity in the billions, then reintroduced into the patient. According to Dr. James Kochenderfer, lead author of the U.S. study, the key is targeting antigens that aren’t expressed in healthy tissues.
Immunotherapy at Issels®: State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment
Artificial turf has been a normal part of many types of sports for years, but did you know it might not be safe? There is some speculation that the turf, which is made from synthetic fabrics and old, recycled tires could actually cause cancer. Here at Issels® we’re dedicated to exploring such theories and informing you about these types of potential dangers.
According to the article on the Washington Post website, the rubber crumbs that young athletes are constantly removing from their hair, clothes and face contain benzene, carbon black and lead, which are all cancer-causing materials. This presents a risk for anyone who plays on a rubber crumb field, but it might be even more risky for soccer goalies.
In 2009, the associate head soccer coach for Washington University, Amy Griffin, was visiting two of her female goalies in the hospital. Both of them had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. A nurse informed Amy that the number of goalies she had treated recently had risen dramatically. The coach formed a hypothesis regarding the relationship between that particular soccer position and the fields they were playing on.
For soccer goalies, their bodies are in constant contact with the ground. Not only does that lead to cuts, scrapes and abrasions, but it also means that the rubber crumbs from the turf could be entering their wounds. Her theory is further supported by the fact that blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma seem to be the common types of cancer goalies are being diagnosed with.
Perhaps you or someone you love is battling a cancer diagnosis after having played on artificial turf. Here at Issels®, we have excellent treatment options and we will design a personalized plan that can help you, even if your cancer is advanced. Please contact us today.
For decades, cancer patients have been limited to a trio of treatment options. While surgery, chemotherapy and radiation have their effectiveness, they also have serious drawbacks that can compromise quality of life. Continued research in the area of immunotherapy is uncovering its power to fight cancer naturally while preserving the body’s healthy cells.
One of the biggest breakthroughs came in a 2013 study conducted by Bristol-Myers Squibb. A group of 52 melanoma patients was treated with one approved and one experimental drug. Nearly one-third experienced rapid and deep tumor regression. As study leader Dr. Jedd Wolchok observed, “We have spent several decades in cancer research learning better ways to treat the tumor. Now we are learning how to treat the patient.”
Dr. David Maloney has been working on targeted cancer therapies since he was a student at Stanford in the early 1980s. He’s currently focused on a procedure wherein a patient is infused with his own T-cells that have been harvested and genetically re-engineered to become better cancer “drones”. He cites the benefit of immunotherapy as a move away from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to customized treatments.
For more than 60 years, Issels has been on the forefront of integrative immuno-oncology treatments. Visit our website to read and hear first-hand testimonials from our patients.
“At Issels Medical Center I was empowered by the calm, compassion, love and knowledge — and seeing very sick patients blossom and being able to walk and talk again within short three weeks.” — Issels Medical Center patient Barbara Humphrey
We have also found that our immunobiologic core treatment program can be beneficial in treating other immune system diseases, not just cancer. We opened our Santa Barbara outpatient center to make Issels’ unique individualized immunotherapy protocols and German homeopathic medicine more accessible.
On the American Riviera
While you are visiting our outpatient clinic, the focus will be on your health and ameliorating the condition that has brought you to Issels. But because we understand that your life is about more than your cancer or disease, we have located our outpatient facility in the beautiful coastal community of Santa Barbara in Southern California. Just north of Los Angeles in an area known as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara enjoys a Mediterranean climate and offers a wealth of outdoor and cultural pleasures.
For our patients’ convenience, Issels Medical Center is located close to major hospitals, fitness centers, health food stores and a variety of restaurants. Out-of-town patients can find comfortable accommodations nearby at special rates.
Five years used to be the magical mark cancer survivors hoped to reach. If your cancer didn’t return within five years of completing treatment, you could start to breathe a little easier and feel hopeful about the future. Improvements in cancer treatment, early screening and cancer prevention have pushed the boundary between fear and hope back another five years.
Half of all newly diagnosed cancer patients now survive for at least 10 years, according to Cancer Research UK. With longer survival rates, some researchers are suggesting that many forms of cancer should now be considered and treated as chronic, rather than fatal, diseases.
War on Cancer Reaches Tipping Point
“The reason this 50% figure is an important tipping point is that it’s saying that now half of all patients will survive at least 10 years after a diagnosis and for many it will be very much longer than that,” Dr. Harpal Kumar, CEO of Cancer Research UK told London’s Daily& Sunday Express. I think that does represent a change in the way we should be thinking about cancer.”
Integrative Medicine Changing Treatment
The integrative approach toward treating cancer that has slowly been replacing Western medicine’s traditional reliance on surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may have much to do with the trend toward longer cancer survival rates. That has certainly been our experience at Issels Centers for Integrative Medicine in Tijuana, Mexico and Santa Barbara, California.
A leader in the field of integrative cancer treatments for more than 60 years, Issels’ cancer treatment teams have enjoyed unique success in the treatment of many forms of cancer using individualized immunotherapy. By integrating various alternative cancer treatments into our non-toxic immunobiologic core treatment program, Issels had been able to help many patients achieve complete long-term remission of their cancer.
“The immune system is an evolutionary learning system. If you can engage it and get it to work successfully, it learns how to attack the cancer. And the wonderful thing is that it works,” immunologist Gordon Freeman of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently told the Washington Post in an article about a new immunotherapy cancer treatment called immune checkpoint blockade. While still in the trial phase, the therapy shares distinct similarities to advanced targeted cancer therapies that are already being successfully used at Issels Integrative Oncology Centers in Mexico and California.
Freeman was attempting to explain why U.S. cancer researchers have started looking beyond the traditional cancer treatment trinity – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation — that has ruled Western medicine for decades. “Cancers are like the Road Runner cartoon character,” Freeman explained. “If you choose one target in the cancer, it will sidestep it eventually by mutating. Chemotherapy usually fails, eventually, because the tumor evolves a way to beat it.” Increasingly, U.S. cancer researchers are looking to the body’s own immune system for new and more effective cancer treatments and discovering a gold mine!
Individualized immunotherapy has been called “cancer’s kryptonite” and is now considered by many to be our best hope for beating cancer. By targeting not only cancer tumors, but also the microenvironments in which they develop, Issels integrated immunotherapy is redefining cancer treatment. By individualizing immunotherapy, Issels cancer specialists can fine tune treatment to maximize the patient’s immune system response. For many of our patients, our methods have resulted in a unique record of complete long-term remission of advanced and standard therapy-resistant cancers. The limited outcomes offered by surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are no longer a cancer patient’s only treatment options. Immunotherapy offers new hope. Visit our website to find out more.