Tag Archives: Cancer Genomics

Inherited Gene Mutations Can Lead to Family Cancer Syndrome

Some families have two or more members who develop the same type of cancer, leading people to believe that it’s inherited. While it’s not passed along like blond hair or brown eyes, there is a genetic element to cancer than can be shared by family members.

How Cell Mutations Give Rise to Cancer

You already know that genes are responsible for certain physical characteristics like height and eye color, but they also contain information that controls cell function. A mutation is an abnormal change that prevents a gene from working properly.

Cancer results from cells that multiply uncontrollably. While the mutations that cause cancer are usually acquired, some inherited mutations affect tumor suppressor genes that act as traffic cops, regulating cell growth and death.

Is It Coincidence or Family Cancer Syndrome?

These inherited gene mutations can lead to family cancer syndrome, in which several members of a family develop similar types of tumors. Telltale factors of family cancer syndrome include:

• Cancer occurring in multiple generations

• Childhood cancer occurring in siblings

• Cancer occurring at unusually young ages

• Two or more types of cancer occurring in a single person

Many times, several diagnoses of cancer within one family can indeed be pure coincidence. They can also be related to family members being exposed to tobacco smoke or other common risk factors.

Genomic Testing for Personalized Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Since our cancer treatment programs target the tumor microenvironment as well as the cancer itself, we use highly specialized testing to address your specific needs. Visit our website to learn more about our cancer treatment that boosts your body’s own immune responses.

New Cancer Treatments May Be Studied After Gene Breakthrough Research for Breast Cancer

New Cancer Treatments May Be Studied After Gene Breakthrough Research for Breast Cancer
New Cancer Treatments May Be Studied After Gene Breakthrough Research for Breast Cancer

In the most comprehensive breast cancer treatment study of its kind to-date, scientists may have uncovered the potential for new breast cancer treatment therapies, and possibilities for the development of new drugs aimed at preventing the disease.

More than 100 Genes Linked to Breast Cancer Revealed
After discovering a bounty of genes linked to breast cancer, scientists may soon be able to develop new genetic tests for predicting breast cancer risk, and using the data obtained, ensure targeted cancer treatment for patients.

Genes Linked to Survival Could Aid in Prevention
Thirty-two additional genes, linked to survival in those with receptor-positive breast cancer, were also uncovered. These are hoped to be used to test new treatments, as well as for providing targeted prevention protocols for those most at-risk of developing breast cancer.

Super Sleuths
In the study, funded by Breast Cancer Now, scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London used a new genetic technique called ‘Capture Hi-C’ to analyze how genes interacted with 33 DNA regions known to play a role in breast cancer. Of the 110 genes identified in the study, the majority had not been previously linked to breast cancer, providing fresh new insight for those striving to develop improved cancer treatment regimens.

A Vital Piece to Puzzling Out the Disease
The findings are seen as integral to unraveling how genetic changes in the building blocks of the body’s DNA influence breast cancer risk, providing a key piece to solving the cancer puzzle.

Puzzling out your cancer treatment options? Discover the path to improved health with Issels® individualized cancer treatment protocols today.

Medicare Will Now Cover FDA-Approved Genomic Testing for Cancer Treatment

Medicare Will Now Cover FDA-Approved Genomic Testing for Cancer Treatment
Medicare Will Now Cover FDA-Approved Genomic Testing for Cancer Treatment

Genomic testing is an important tool that helps doctors determine whether or not a patient is a candidate for cancer immunotherapy treatment. Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) made the announcement that Medicare will now cover FDA-approved genetic tests to evaluate cancer.

Giving Patients Access to “Innovative Diagnostics”

Discussion on the issue began several months ago when Foundation Medicine received FDA approval for F1CDx, the first broad genomic cancer test of its kind. The current cost for for F1CDx is $5,800.

At the time of the announcement, CMS administrator Seema Verma issued a statement explaining the decision. CMS believes that it will give cancer patients “enhanced access and expanded coverage when it comes to innovative diagnostics.”

Coverage for genomic and molecular cancer tests that are still in development and not yet FDA-approved does not change with the new policy. U.S. regional Medicare administrative contractors will retain discretion in regards to payment for such testing.

Opening the Door to Accurate Evaluation

For the time being, Foundation Medicine will likely see a surge in the number of specimens submitted to them for testing. In the big picture, the CMS decision will encourage researchers to gather the evidence needed for FDA approval of additional tests.

Experts predict that within a few years another half-dozen companies will join Foundation Medicine in offering FDA-approved testing. One scientist called the decision a “major advancement for precision medicine.”

Genomic Testing and Cancer Immunotherapy from Issels®

At Issels®, we use genomic testing in creating individualized cancer immunotherapy programs that address each patient’s unique needs. Contact us today for more information.

Gene Therapies for Two Blood Cancers Become a Reality

State of the Art Research on Blood Cancers Is Under Way
State of the Art Research on Blood Cancers Is Under Way

2017 was a breakthrough year for cancer treatment. For the first time ever, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two gene therapies for blood cancers that have failed to respond to traditional forms of treatment.

Helping a Patient’s Own Body Fight Cancer

The new treatments are known as CAR-T cell immunotherapy. What’s exciting about these therapies is that they enhance the power of a patient’s own immune system to seek out and kill cancer cells.

T cells are immune system cells responsible for attacking foreign substances in the body. First, a doctor extracts T cells from a patient’s blood sample. The cells are then genetically modified to produce artificial proteins.

These proteins are called chimeric antigen receptors, or CAR, and they have the ability to recognize cancer cells in a patient. Once the modified T cells have been replicated, they’re reintroduced to the patient’s system to find and destroy cancer cells.

An “Explosion of Interest”

Kymriah, manufactured by Novartis, was approved for use with ALL, a form of leukemia that affects children and young adults. Gilead Sciences produces the other gene therapy, called Yescarta, which is used with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

According to Dario Campano, an immunologist involved in the development of Kymriah, the approval of these therapies triggered an “explosion of interest.” Campano expects continued research to lead to greater advancements in the technology.

Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Issels® has long been a leader in the use of non-toxic, personally tailored cancer treatment programs that harness the power of a patient’s immune system. Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines and other treatments available at Issels®.

NIH Considers Cancer Research on Genomics Critical

New Research Is Unlocking the Mystery of Cancer
New Research Is Unlocking the Mystery of Cancer

As scientists learn more about how cancer cells operate, they use that knowledge to formulate more effective methods of cancer immunotherapy. For this reason, the National Institute of Health (NIH) considers genomics research to be a critical tool in the fight against cancer.

Why Genomics Research?

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the arm of the NIH devoted to cancer research and training. In 2012, the NCI founded the Center for Cancer Genomics (CCG) for the purpose of studying the role of altered genes in the development of cancer.

Cancer results from abnormal cell growth within the body. Genomics research helps scientists understand more about these abnormalities and how they drive cancer development, leading to more precise methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Benefits of Cancer Genomics Research

One example of the success of genomic research is the development of vemurafenib (trade name Zelboraf®), which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011. Vemurafenib is a cancer treatment that targets a form of melanoma arising from a specific mutation in the BRAF gene.

As researchers survey and catalog the results of various projects over the years, they have uncovered genetic similarities between seemingly disparate forms of cancer. For instance, mutations in the HER2 gene have been revealed in breast, bladder, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.

Cancer Immunotherapy at Issels®

Genomic diagnostics are an important part of the Issels® comprehensive immunobiologic core treatment. These tests are invaluable in providing essential information to help us identify causes of the disease and develop personalized cancer immunotherapy programs.

Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines and other treatments at Issels®.