Tag Archives: Genetics

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.

“Angelina” Effect Causes An Increase in Genetic Cancer Testing

Genetic Predisposition

Hereditary ovarian and breast cancer have made the news in recent years thanks to Angelina Jolie. The actress made headlines in 2013 after revealing that she had a double mastectomy after finding out that she carries genetic mutations that increase her risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In 2015, she had her fallopian tubes and ovaries removed. 

Jolie’s disclosures have raised awareness of these types of cancer, prompting more women to undergo genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. However, in the latest cancer news, some major insurance companies are refusing to cover the costs of this testing. These companies, which include Aetna and Cigna, won’t cover these costs out of concern that the tests are unproven and might end up causing patients to seek unnecessary medical care, such as preventive chemotherapy. 

Health experts, including physicians and genetic counselors, have defended these tests, stating that delaying them could be putting patients who do carry these mutations at risk. If they knew that they were carriers, they could be taking steps to reduce their risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, such as making dietary changes.

Some health professionals also state that making these tests cost-prohibitive makes it harder for researchers to study their effectiveness in more detail. Health experts are encouraging insurance companies to cover the costs of genetic testing for cancer in order to reduce the costs associated with eventually having to treat cancer in those with a high risk. 

To keep up with the latest cancer news and to learn more about non-toxic forms of treatment, please visit Issels®. We offer integrative immunotherapy for a variety of cancers.

Precision Cancer Treatments Use Genomics for Tumor Targeting

Genetic Profiling
Genetic Profiling

While cancer treatments continue to become more effective, physicians are still, all too often, faced with cases where a tumor fails to respond to any methods. Researchers are now optimistic about the possibility of genetic profiling as a way to pinpoint vulnerable treatment options in an otherwise stubborn tumor.

Oncologist Michael Pishvaian of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center compares locating the source of a tumor’s growth to “looking for a needle in a haystack.” The problem is that a cancer cell may hold hundreds of abnormally behaving genes, but it’s likely that only a few of them are actually fueling the tumor.

Dr. Pishvaian has first-hand experience with tumor profiling. In June 2013, he was treating a patient named Jen Morey for colon cancer using a conventional chemotherapy protocol. Unfortunately, after a couple of months the tumor was still growing at a rapid rate.

Faced with this roadblock, Dr. Pishvaian ordered a tumor profile test in an attempt to discover why treatment wasn’t working. He was astonished when the results indicated a genetic mutation found almost exclusively in breast cancer. 

Morey began undergoing treatment with a drug commonly used to target breast cancer gene mutations. Her condition quickly stabilized, and the new protocol was easier to tolerate because it attacks only cancer cells. A CT scan in December showed that the tumor has remained stable, and Morey was able to return to her critical-care nursing job in late January.

Our natural immuno-oncology treatments also use a personalized approach, including genomic testing, to create the most effective non-toxic protocols. Visit our website to learn more about our innovative cancer treatments. 

Bladder Cancer Breakthrough Highlights

Erasing Cancer
Bladder Cancer

After decades without major developments, the study of advanced bladder cancer has reached a new breakthrough thanks to an alternative cancer treatment.

An immunotherapy medicine has been found by researchers to shrink or eliminate tumors. Patients who have not responded positively to chemotherapy and other standard therapies have improved or entered remission, based on the initial findings.

The immunotherapy has been awarded “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This means the FDA will expedite the review process to help patients with the serious disease receive the treatment as quickly as possible.

Promising Evidence for Bladder Cancer Immunotherapy

In a British trial, advanced bladder cancer patients received a new medication developed by the Swiss lab Roche.

Patients carrying the PD-L1 protein responded best to the treatment. The results:

  • Tumors shrank in 43 percent of patients within 6 weeks of immunotherapy
  • After 12 weeks, 52 percent had shrunken tumors
  • 2 out of 30 patients had no signs of cancer following the treatment
  • Among PD-L1 negative patients, 11 percent saw a reduction in tumor size.

While this particular cancer immunotherapy awaits full FDA approval, the signs are encouraging. Only common side effects of cancer treatments were reported, including loss of appetite and tiredness.

Bladder cancer has long been considered one of the most difficult forms of cancer. This breakthrough provides an alternative to chemotherapy, which has for years been the only treatment option for advanced cases.

Issels® champions alternative cancer treatments, including many immunotherapies that are considered breakthroughs. Get in touch with us to discuss the latest cancer treatment options we provide.

The Tough Questions – Should I Travel for Cancer Treatment?

To Travel For Treatment
To Travel For Treatment

Perhaps you’ve just received a cancer diagnosis, and you can’t help but wonder if getting cancer treatment close to home is really the best choice for you. If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many of the patients we serve here at Issels® will tell you that they understand how you feel. The fact is that this is a decision that only you can make. Still, we would like to offer you some information that will help you make the choice that’s right for you.

Treatment Options

The fact is that many oncologists and cancer centers depend on traditional treatment methods when they treat cancer patients. You’ll probably hear words like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, because these treatment options are the most popular ones being used. Even so, coming to a treatment center like Issels® gives you many more options that just aren’t available everywhere. Cancer vaccines and immunotherapy are just two of the treatments we offer, but your treatment plan will be tailored according to your needs.

Excellent Results

It’s also a good idea to choose a treatment center that has a good reputation for excellent results and remission rates. Remission rates are a good indicator of what you can expect for your cancer treatment, although not all results are typical for every patient’s case.

No matter where you decide to have your cancer treatments, at Issels®, we want you to know that we’re there for you. Our caring staff of professionals is willing to work with you to determine a treatment plan that will work best for you. If you’d like more information about how we can help you, please contact us today.

Super-Charged Cells Take the Cancer Fight to the Tumor Level

Super Charged Cells
Super Charged Cells

The growing number of immunotherapy success stories has given new hope to cancer patients, and their families.

Our Issels®treatment centers have comprehensive immunotherapy programs that have remarkable results.

According to an article on WebMD, this non-toxic cancer treatment could be a pathway to a cure. It worked for Milton Wright III, who according to the article, had leukemia since he was 8 years-old. After years of treatment his doctors thought the cancer was gone.

Unfortunately, it came back for a third time when he was twenty years-old. He ended up taking part in CAR T-cell therapy trail, which is a type of immunotherapy. This type of treatment super-charged the immune system via genetically modified cells that both recognized, and attacked the cancer cells. In less than a month, CAR T-cell therapy got rid of Wright’s cancer.

That is just one of many immunotherapy success stories. Our own Issels® treatment program has many success stories that will bring new hope to any cancer patient.

About CAR T-cell therapy:

Over 100 trial patients have tried this treatment since 2009. Over 70 of those patients went into complete remission. This type of cancer treatment was used with patients who have certain blood cancers such as myeloma, and leukemia. Early research is showing that one day it could be used for more common tumors.

CAR T-cell therapy, like all types of immunotherapy, offers an improved quality of life during, and after the cancer treatment.

For more information about immunotherapy, please contact us at Issels® via our website. We have experienced, qualified, and compassionate doctors who specialize in immunotherapy cancer treatment.