Tag Archives: Cancer Treatment

Cancer Caregiver Tip: Talking about Cancer with Your Loved One

Are you a cancer caregiver who’s tiptoeing around your loved one because you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing? Use these tips to guide your conversations in positive and helpful directions.

Tips for Talking to a Cancer Patient

  • Don’t stress about coming up with the perfect words. This is a new situation for both of you. If you don’t know what to say, be honest about it. Your loved one will let you know what he or she needs.
  • Keep the focus on the patient. You’re there to help them, not the other way around. Talk to another friend or family member if you need a sounding board.
  • Avoid clichés or dismissive comments like “You’ll be fine” or “At least you got the ‘good’ cancer.” Of course you don’t want to be a source of doom and gloom, but minimizing the situation doesn’t make the patient feel any better.
  • Every case of cancer is different. Don’t bring up friends, family members or acquaintances and compare their situations.
  • Don’t ask for details about their cancer treatment such as blood test results or possible side effects. Let them share information if they like, but respect their personal boundaries.
  • Sometimes no words are necessary. Your loved one might want you to provide a sympathetic ear, or may prefer a period of silence. Be willing to graciously accommodate their wishes.

Personalized Cancer Treatment from Issels®

Your experience with cancer is unique, so your treatment should be also. Visit our website to learn more about cancer vaccines and other individually tailored and integrative immunotherapy for cancer treatments.

Blood Test May Detect Early Melanoma

Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, has a survival rate of up to 95 percent that is reduced nearly in half by late diagnosis. An experimental blood test for melanoma showing high degrees of accuracy could make it easier for patients to receive timely cancer treatment.

Finding Clues in the Bloodstream

Antibodies are produced by the body’s immune system to attack foreign substances, including cancer cells. A research team at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia conducted a study using blood samples to identify particular antibodies created in the immune response to melanoma.

The 245 test subjects included both melanoma patients and healthy volunteers. After the team identified a combination of 10 antibodies specific to the presence of melanoma, they were able to detect melanoma patients with 79 percent accuracy and healthy participants with 84 percent accuracy.

Progress in Early Cancer Detection

Professor Mel Ziman, leader of the project, said the team is proceeding on a trial with 1,000 participants to get the accuracy rate up to the required 90 percent level. Ziman projects that with a successful outcome, the test could be commercially available within five years.

While early detection makes a vital difference in successful melanoma treatment, current testing methods are costly and invasive. Scientists around the world are also making progress on blood tests to identify several types of cancer, including ovarian, lung and esophagus.

Better Testing = More Effective Cancer Treatment

Issels® uses extensive standard and genomic testing to determine the specific course of cancer treatment best suited for each patient. Visit our website for more information about our state-of-the-art diagnostic methods.

Please visit our newly updated website for more information on the Issels Cancer Treatment.

Tips for Coping with a New Cancer Diagnosis

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your mental and emotional adjustment can make a difference during your course of immuno oncology treatment. Unfortunately, most people have no frame of reference for coping with such news.

The American Cancer Society offers helpful tips for coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis and continuing to live life to the fullest.

Follow Your Own Path

Your situation is unique. Others may offer ideas of what has worked for them, but don’t feel obligated to follow them to the letter. View these tips as suggestions and try out different methods to find your own best solution.

Learn About Your Cancer

Knowledge is power. The unknown is often more frightening than the reality, so take time to educate yourself about your type of cancer and the various treatment options that are available.

Stay Active

The link between exercise and mood is well-documented. Physical activity stimulates production of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. Consult with your doctor to make sure you’re not overdoing it.

Let Your Feelings Out

Many people believe that fear, anger and other negative emotions must remain hidden, but that can make your situation even harder to bear. Talk to friends and family, join a support group or try an artistic outlet such as writing or painting.

Be Kind to Yourself

Make a point each day of doing something that makes you happy, whether it’s meeting a friend for lunch or simply meditating for 15 minutes.

Issels®: Immuno Oncology Personally Created for You

Our non-toxic immunotherapy programs are individually designed to meet your specific needs. Contact us to learn more about the Issels Cancer Treatment.

When Cancer is Whispering, Be Persistent and Get Help with Early Treatment

Worried You May Have Cancer - Get Help!
Worried You May Have Cancer – Get Help!

Do you find yourself ignoring minor but nagging health symptoms, assuming they’re not worth a trip to the doctor’s office? Seeking help during this “whisper stage” can be the key to timely and effective cancer treatment.

When Cancer Acts Like Something Else

When actress Fran Drescher first heard her body’s “whispers,” she didn’t fit the usual profile of uterine cancer patients, so her doctor didn’t even consider an endometrial biopsy. Instead, Drescher was diagnosed with a perimenopausal condition and put on four separate hormone replacement therapies, which nearly proved fatal.

Fortunately, Drescher trusted what her body was telling her. She continued to seek help, and after two years and eight doctors, she finally received the correct diagnosis of uterine cancer.

Putting Good Health First

Drescher’s experience prompted her to form Cancer Schmancer, a charitable organization that educates people about taking a proactive approach toward prevention and early detection of cancer.

Here are some of Drescher’s top tips for taking charge of your health.

– Don’t cut corners on health care. Investing in your health is the best financial decision you’ll ever make.

– Listen to your body when it begins “whispering.’ Even if it turns out to be nothing, your peace of mind is worth a doctor appointment.

– Educate yourself. The digital revolution has put unprecedented amounts of information at your fingertips.

– Be assertive. If your symptoms don’t improve, or you feel you’re not being taken seriously, don’t be afraid to seek second and third opinions.

Cancer Treatment Designed Just for You

At Issels®, our comprehensive immunotherapy programs are created with each patient’s specific needs in mind. Contact us for more information.

Special Adoptive T Cell Therapy Reprograms Metabolism of Cancer Cells Causing Their Death

New Cancer Research is Focused on T Cells
New Cancer Research is Focused on T Cells

“Everything in moderation” is often cited as the key to balance in life, but scientists are taking a different approach in a new form of cancer treatment. According to the results of a recent study, driving up levels of oxidative stress can be fatal to cancer cells.

Reprogramming the Metabolism of Cancer Cells

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as peroxide and superoxide are natural byproducts of the metabolism of oxygen, and they play a role in certain cell functions. But while high levels of ROS can kill normal cells and damage DNA, energy-hungry cancer cells consume greater quantities of ROS.

In a study published in Cell Metabolism, a research team at Augusta University examined the effects of adaptive T cell therapy on the metabolism of cancer cells. Testing was conducted on mice with large colorectal tumors.

When Oxidative Stress Becomes Fatal

Adoptive T cell therapy followed treatment with a chemotherapy drug that boosted the activity of the infused T cells. Nearly all the mice experienced complete tumor regression as an apparent result of two factors:

– Treatment interfered with production of an antioxidant called glutathione, causing ROS levels to rise.

– T cells increased production of proinflammatory cytokines, chief among them tumor necrosis factor alpha, making cancer cells even more vulnerable to oxidative stress.

Dr. Gang Zhou, author of the study, expressed hope that these findings will help improve immunotherapy treatments by making it easier for T cells to target tumors.

Personalized Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Our comprehensive cancer treatment programs incorporate therapies that best address a patient’s individual needs. Contact us to learn more.

Identification of Key Biological Pathway Primes Immune System to Fight Cancer

It's Time to Stop Cancer
It’s Time to Stop Cancer

While immunotherapy cancer treatment has provided options for many patients, doctors are challenged by determining which patients will be most receptive. The recent discovery of a key biological pathway may prove to be a useful solution.

Stimulating the Power of the Immune System

Cancer cells often avoid the normal immune response by triggering the brake mechanism that keeps T cells from attacking healthy tissue. Immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors override the brakes, but so far this treatment has been successful with a minority of patients.

In 2014, a research team at UC San Francisco discovered an element of the immune system called stimulatory dendritic cells (SDC), which help direct T cells to a target. The scientists also uncovered a correlation between low levels of SDCs and poor response to checkpoint inhibitors.

Creating a Receptive Environment for Immunotherapy

The team recently set out to learn why SDC levels vary among tumors. In this study, they found that natural killer (NK) cells in the immune system express a signaling protein known as FLT3LG. Presence of FLT3LG has a strong relationship to presence of SDCs.

While NK cells have long been recognized as a direct threat to cancer cells, the UCSF study demonstrates that they can also communicate with other immune cells. Scientists are hopeful that developing a way to increase the number of NK cells in a tumor will help more patients benefit from immunotherapy.

Issels®: The Leader in Advanced Cancer Treatment

Issels® has been ahead of the curve with cancer treatment methods such as dendritic cell vaccines and activated NK cells. Contact us for more information.