Tag Archives: Cancer News

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.

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.

New Understanding on How Cancer Cells Provide for Tumor Growth and Metastasis

New Understanding on How Cancer Cells Provide for Tumor Growth and Metastasis
New Understanding on How Cancer Cells Provide for Tumor Growth and Metastasis

At Issels®, our immunotherapy for cancer treatments have helped patients with metastatic tumors achieve long-term remission. A recent discovery by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison holds promise for developing a means to prevent the spread of cancer.

Exosomes: The Allies of Cancer Cells

Immunotherapy is aimed at helping the body’s immune system circumvent ways in which cancer cells avoid detection. One such method involves exosomes, which are protein-packed bags of fluid released by cancer cells.

Exosomes are powerful enough to affect the environment of cancer cells and divert the immune system, allowing cancer to spread to other areas in a process known as metastasis. The team at UW-Madison identified a protein called Munc13-4 that controls the release of exosomes.

Stopping the Spread of Cancer

According to the study, published in Journal of Cell Biology, Munc13-4 activates once it binds with calcium, which is frequently found at elevated levels in tumor cells. While calcium triggers exosome secretion in breast cancer, once the scientists removed Munc13-4. the secretion was halted.

The exosomes in the breast cancer cells contained an enzyme called MT1-MMP which breaks down the extracellular matrix, creating an environment that encourages the spread of cancer. Prof. Thomas F. J. Martin, senior author of the study, explained that by targeting Munc13-4, immunotherapy for cancer treatments could potentially prevent metastasis.

How Issels® Fights Advanced and Therapy-Resistant Tumors

Immunotherapy for cancer has been in the spotlight recently, but our successful use of these personally developed programs dates back to the work of our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels. Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines and other integrated treatments.

Saliva Test May Identify Prostate Cancer High Risk Populations

Saliva Test May Identify Prostate Cancer High Risk Populations
Saliva Test May Identify Prostate Cancer High Risk Populations

As immunotherapy for cancer moves closer to becoming a viable treatment for prostate cancer, scientists continue to seek methods of early detection. Increased use of saliva-based DNA tests prompted a research team to investigate a similar test that identifies men at high risk to develop the disease.

DNA Profiling through Saliva

Now that scientists can extract DNA from white cells called leukocytes, a simple saliva test can provide information about your genetic makeup. This method has given rise to a booming business in commercially available tests that reveal information about people’s genealogical backgrounds.

This past June, a research team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London began a clinical trial of a similar test to determine risk of developing prostate cancer. The disease is currently the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer affecting European men.

When Prostate Cancer Is in the Genes

The trial comes on the heels of a study that identified 63 new genetic variations that increase the risk of prostate cancer. In addition to these variations, the saliva test includes more than 100 others already known to scientists.

On this side of the ocean, another clinical trial of the saliva test is underway at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. According to Dr. Heather Cheng, director of the Alliance’s Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic, a saliva test could be used in conjunction with existing PSA blood testing to obtain more accurate information.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: Personalized Solutions

Every patient’s case is unique. Genetic testing is one of the tools we use to create individual immunotherapy for cancer programs that focus on specific needs. Contact us for more information.

Lymph Node Metastasis Uses Blood Vessel Pathways to Spread Cancer

Metastasis Uses Blood Vessel Pathways
Metastasis Uses Blood Vessel Pathways

Lymph node metastasis can have major implications for immuno oncology treatment. In a recent study, scientists examined the progression of metastatic tumor cells to learn more about how they are disseminated throughout the body.

Is Treatment of Lymph Node Metastases a Priority?

When cancer metastasizes in the lymph nodes, it’s generally a sign of an exceptionally aggressive tumor and a poor prognosis. Scientists differ on the treatment of lymph node metastases, with some experts believing it’s “clinically inconsequential” while others think they should be treated promptly to prevent distant metastases.

Results of clinical testing further complicate the issue. In one trial, removal of anything beyond the first lymph node had no benefit for patients who had received radiation and systemic therapies, while in another, lymph node treatment was found to help a subgroup of patients with breast cancer.

Tracing the Journey of Metastatic Cancer Cells

A team of researchers implanted a group of mice with cancer cells that expressed a photoconvertible protein known as Dendra2. This feature allowed scientists to photoactivate selected metastatic cells in the lymph nodes and follow their path.

Originally, metastatic cells were thought to travel by either blood vessels or the lymphatic system. In studying the affected mice, scientists determined that the metastatic cells followed a hybrid route by invading blood vessels within a lymph node, using it as a means of exit by which the cells could travel to the lungs and other organs.

Issels®: Leading the Way in Immuno Oncology for Advanced Cancers

Our comprehensive immuno oncology treatments have helped a number of patients with metastatic and recurring cancer. Contact us for more information.

Losing Too Much Weight When You Are Over 60 May Signify Cancer

Losing Too Much Weight When You Are Over 60 May Signify Cancer
Losing Too Much Weight When You Are Over 60 May Signify Cancer

As the obesity problem in our society has grown, doctors have recommended programs for their patients to lose weight through healthy eating and moderate exercise. But immuno oncology experts warn that unexplained weight loss in people over the age of 60 can be a sign of cancer.

What Is the Relationship between Unexplained Weight Loss and Cancer?

With cancer survival rates that rank well below those of many comparable countries, Great Britain has been searching for ways to improve early detection and treatment. A research team led by the Universities of Oxford and Exeter set out to quantify the connection between unexplained weight loss and cancer.

The team reviewed 25 studies involving 11.5 million patients. Their major findings include:

– Men over the age of 60 with unexplained weight loss had a 14.2 percent risk of cancer, more than double the 6.7 percent risk of women in the same age group.

– Weight loss is a primary factor in prostate cancer, the most common form occurring in men, which accounts for the gender disparity.

– Unexpected weight loss was found to be the second-highest risk factor in colorectal, lung, renal and pancreatic cancers.

Improving Access to Early Testing

There are currently no guidelines for doctors regarding weight loss and how it pertains to cancer. Dr. Richard Roope of the Royal College of GPs expressed hope that this study will help improve access to more accurate diagnostic tools.

Issels®: The Leader in Effective Immuno Oncology

Our personally designed, non-toxic immuno oncology programs have been successful with many patients diagnosed with advanced or therapy-resistant cancers. Contact us today for more information.