Tag Archives: Gene Therapy

Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment

Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment
Molecularly Targeted Therapy Emerges As Another Possible Cancer Treatment

The problem with traditional cancer treatments is that they attack healthy cells along with diseased cells, which results in serious side effects such as fatigue and hair loss. Doctors are encouraged by the success of a new cancer treatment that zeroes in on the cancer cells.

The “Next Revolution in Cancer Therapy”

Molecularly targeted therapy is being hailed as the next big step in cancer treatment. These new drugs are designed at the molecular level to attack the diseased cells of a specific type of cancer. In addition, they can identify specific molecules that are part of specific cancers.

The drugs are created by a process that is the reverse of how most cancer drugs are developed. Scientists identify an abnormal molecule that’s unique to a particular type of cancer, then design a drug that shuts down its activity.

Gleevec: Paving the Way

Novartis Pharmaceuticals has developed Gleevec, also known as STI571, which is leading the way for molecularly targeted therapy. Gleevec is used for chronic myeloid leukemia, or CML, which is a rare form of the disease characterized by excessive production of white blood cells.

Researchers discovered that Gleevec is also effective against GIST, a rare gastrointestinal cancer. GIST features a unique enzyme related to the original target enzyme in CML.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Gene-targeted therapies, including Gleevec, Tamoxifen and Avastin, are a significant part of our personalized treatment programs. Issels® also uses non-toxic immunotherapy treatments that boost the immune system’s ability to target tumor cells.

Contact us today for more information about our decades of success in helping patients achieve long-term remission.

Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments
Tumor Suppressing Protein May Lead to New Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

While a protein known as p53 has long been recognized as a potent factor in suppressing tumors, the reasons have been unclear. Scientists are now discovering more about p53, including the existence of a “super” version, that may have valuable implications for cancer immunotherapy.

Finding the Right Balance

Balance is essential for realizing the maximum benefits of p53. Too little leaves the door open for tumor growth, but too much can cause developmental problems.

A research team at the Stanford University School of Medicine tested a variety of p53 mutations on mice that were susceptible to pancreatic cancer. The scientists were surprised to find that one version of the protein kept the mice tumor-free for longer periods of time.

A “Supercharged” Tumor Suppressor

According to Dr. Laura Attardi, senior author of the study, the mutated protein hit a “sweet spot” that allowed embryos to develop without any problems and gave adult mice greater resistance to tumors. The mutation appears to hyperactivate the p53 protein, causing it to affect a number of downstream targets.

With hundreds of genes impacted by p53 activity, Attardi’s team turned to the question of discovering which ones were involved in tumor development. They discovered the pathway of three proteins, led by p53, that created a chain reaction preventing development of tumor cells.

Issels®: Leading the Way in Cancer Immunotherapy

Our personalized immunotherapy programs include gene-targeted therapies that shut down specific molecules required for cancer growth. Treatments are integrated with other therapies that combine for the most effective ways of fighting tumor cells.

Contact us to learn more about our success in helping patients achieve long-term remission

Could the X Chromosome Hold a Key to Cancer Incidence?

New Cancer Research
New Cancer Research

High school biology teaches that the Y chromosome is what distinguishes males from females, who have two X chromosomes. Cancer researchers are exploring the possibility that the additional X chromosome may hold a key to why women have a lower incidence of cancer than men.

Genetic Gender Bias?

The so-called “male bias” runs across all types of cancer. In the past it was thought to be caused by men’s greater exposure to environmental factors such as cigarette smoke and chemicals, but that didn’t explain a similar bias in juvenile cancers like pediatric leukemia.

According to Dr. Andrew Lane of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, lead author of the study, everyone carries tumor suppressor genes that protect cells from cancer. When cancer develops, these genes lose functionality.

Strength in Numbers

The study revealed the genes that were mutated more frequently in male cancers occurred on the X chromosome. While this sounds counterintuitive, there’s more to the story.

One copy of the X chromosome is shut down in all cells, a process known as X inactivation. But approximately 50 of the 800 genes on the X chromosome are spared, leaving women with two sets of those particular genes. As a result, any cancer that develops must mutate twice as many of the genes in women as in men.

Genomic Testing and Immunotherapy for Cancer

Each patient’s cancer is unique, which is why genomic testing is one of the special methods we use at Issels®. Contact us for more information about our personally tailored immunotherapy for cancer treatments that destroy cancer cells while strengthening your body’s own natural defenses.

Resistance Training and Cancer Treatment

Resistance Training
Resistance Training and Cancer Treatment

Exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, especially after a cancer diagnosis. It offers physical benefits such as boosting your immune system while fostering a positive mental attitude that’s so important to fighting cancer. Adding resistance training specifically targets some of the changes you may experience during treatment.

Resistance training uses weights, from either equipment or your own body, to supplement exercise moves. Its primary benefit is increasing muscle mass and tone. Cancer patients often lose muscle and gain fat as a side effect of treatment. Practicing resistance training can offset this tendency and help you maintain a better level of muscle tone.

This loss of muscle can be a contributing factor toward the fatigue suffered by patients in treatment. A 2012 study performed by Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center followed 221 cancer survivors in a 12-week strength training program. Participants showed major improvements in muscle mass along with blood pressure, body strength and flexibility.

Cancer can sometimes contribute to the development of osteoporosis. The disease itself can result in bone weakness, while radiation and hormone therapy can affect bone density. Weight training works your bones in the same way that it works your muscles, making it a powerful weapon against osteoporosis.

While aerobic exercise can be performed on a daily basis, strength training is best when done on a schedule that allows for intervening rest days. It’s a good idea to work with a trainer who can help you develop a program for maximum efficiency.

Resistance training benefits the mind-body connection that’s such an important part of the integrative immunotherapy provided at Issels alternative cancer treatment centers. Please contact us to learn more our individualized treatment programs.

Gene Therapy Shows ‘Unprecedented Success’ Against Blood Cancers

Gene Therapy
Gene Therapy

Advanced genetically-targeted treatments are proving to be remarkably successful against leukemia and other blood cancers. Here’s what the Associated Press had to say:

“In one of the biggest advances against leukemia and other blood cancers in many years, doctors are reporting unprecedented success by using gene therapy to transform patients’ blood cells into soldiers that seek and destroy cancer.”

In tests by six different research groups, blood cancer patients who received gene therapy showed survival rates that researchers called “stunning.” In one study, all but three of the 27 patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia achieved complete remission with targeted genetic therapy. While a few of those patients have since relapsed, the therapy success rate remains impressive.

Before undergoing genetic immunotherapy, these leukemia patients had undergone chemotherapy and stem cell or bone-marrow transplants without success. If additional tests achieve similar results, researchers believe eventual approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration may be possible.

The gene therapy that has the U.S. research community cheering involves a blood filtering process that removes T-cells from the patient’s blood, adds a targeting gene and returns the cells to the patient by transfusion. Called “a living drug” by researchers, the altered T-cells multiply in patient’s body, strengthening the patient’s immune response and ability to fight cancer.

While being heralded by traditional Western medical practitioners as “new,” Issels , an alternative cancer treatment center, has been using similar advanced genetically-targeted cancer therapies as part of our individualized integrative immunotherapy program for years. Our non-toxic autologous vaccine program employs a similar blood transfusion mechanism to boost the body’s immune system response.