Tag Archives: Immune System

The Importance of Gut Bacteria in the Spread of Pancreatic Cancer

The Importance of Gut Bacteria in the Spread of Pancreatic Cancer
The Importance of Gut Bacteria in the Spread of Pancreatic Cancer

Gut bacteria, or microbiome, include organisms that manufacture vitamins and promote healthy digestion and other functions. A study recently published in Cancer Discovery found that pathogenic gut bacteria can have a negative impact on pancreatic cancer treatment.

When Gut Bacteria Fights the Immune System

A research team at NYU School of Medicine conducted tests on both mice and humans with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), a particularly aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. The scientists discovered that pathogenic, or “bad,” gut bacteria migrated to the pancreas, increasing bacterial presence by a thousand times.

Problems arise when this unbalanced mix of bacteria triggers a shutdown of immune cells, allowing cancer cells to multiply unchecked. Checkpoint inhibitors are a type of immunotherapy cancer treatment that reactivates immune cells, but they’re ineffective against the overwhelming amount of bacteria in the pancreas.

Using Antibiotics to Supplement Immunotherapy

When the researchers treated the mice with antibiotics, the amount of bacteria decreased enough to “flip the switch” on immune cells, thereby slowing cancer growth. In addition, checkpoint inhibitors were approximately three times more effective when used in conjunction with antibiotics.

Checkpoint inhibitors had previously failed to treat pancreatic cancer in clinical trials, so scientists are encouraged by these results. The team is now recruiting PDA patients to test the antibiotic-checkpoint inhibitor combo.

Issels®: Cancer Treatment Harnessing the Power of the Immune System

Our non-toxic immunotherapy programs focus on helping your body’s own immune system attack and kill cancer cells. These personally tailored treatments have fewer side effects and work to eliminate the causes that create tumors. Contact us for more information.

Treatment Uses Patient’s Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Treatment Uses Patient's Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer
Treatment Uses Patient’s Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Scientists are hopeful that a new gene therapy cancer treatment will lead to development of other drugs that utilize the power of a patient’s own immune system. In the meantime, policy makers face the challenges of safety, cost and access.

“Training” the Immune System to Fight Cancer

The therapy in question, called Kymriah, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2017. Novartis developed Kymriah as a cancer treatment for children and young adults with a type of leukemia known as ALL.

Kymriah is a form of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell treatment. A patient’s T cells are genetically reengineered and infused back into the patient’s system to attack and kill cancer cells.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

During clinical trials conducted by Novartis, 63 patients received a one-time infusion of CAR T cells. After three months, 52 of the patients were in remission.

The downside is that 76 percent of the patients experienced a variety of side effects. In order to determine the overall risk vs. reward factor, the FDA has required Novartis to perform a post-marketing study of Kymriah’s safety and effectiveness.

An article published in the October issue of Health Affairs noted that high demand and high cost of CAR T cell therapies could lead to greater inequalities in health outcomes. The authors urged ethics and policy-making to catch up to the science of cancer treatment.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Cancer Immunotherapy

Issels® has long been ahead of the field in successful use of cancer treatment that aids the immune system in targeting tumor cells. Contact us for more information.

Some Cancers Cloak Themselves from the Immune System’s Discovery

Some Cancers Cloak Themselves from the Immune System's Discovery
Some Cancers Cloak Themselves from the Immune System’s Discovery

Immunotherapy cancer treatment is designed to aid the body’s immune system in recognizing and attacking tumor cells. Scientists are finally uncovering clues as to how cancer cells are able to evade detection by the body’s natural defenses.

How Cancer Blocks the Immune System

The first steps were taken in 2009 by a team headed up by Dr. Irving Weissman, director of Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Their research discovered that some cancer cells are able to emit a “don’t eat me” signal.

High levels of CD47, a transmembrane protein, are found on the surface of more aggressive cancer cells. CD47 then binds with another protein called SIRPalpha on the surface of macrophages, a type of white blood cell, inhibiting their ability to attack cancer cells.

In 2017, Dr. Weissman’s team published the results of a recent study that identified another protein that interferes with macrophage activity. When MHC class 1 binds with a protein known as LILRB1, it’s resistant to an antibody that has been used successfully to counteract CD47 in tests on mice with cancer.

Applications for Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Cancer research is complicated by the fact that different types have different “fingerprints.” The studies conducted by Dr. Weissman’s team are helping scientists learn more about strategies to “outwit” cancer cells and their ability to avoid detection.

Issels®: Pioneering Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Our founder, Dr. Josef Issels, was ahead of his time in focusing on the immune system as the key to defeating advanced cancer. Contact us to learn more about how we are continuing his legacy of helping patients achieve long-term remission.

Can Fasting Boost Your Immune System?

Fasting To Build The Immune System
Fasting To Build The Immune System

A new study by University of Southern California researchers suggests that a three-day fast may jump-start the body’s immune system by triggering the production of new white blood cells. USC scientists believe that medically monitored fasting could help cancer patients, the elderly and others with damaged immune systems regenerate healthy immune systems. If initial results are upheld, the discovery could add a potent tool to the practice of integrative immunotherapy and the non-toxic treatment of cancer.

Regenerating White Blood Cells

Your immune system is your body’s natural line of defense against disease and white blood cells form its front lines. In USC patient trials, prolonged fasting forced the breakdown of white blood cells, especially damaged cells, which triggered stem cell regeneration of healthy new white blood cells.

Cancer places serious strain on the immune system. Some cancer treatments, particularly chemotherapy, can seriously damage your immune system, leaving you with little natural defense against cancer. If medically monitored fasting is proven to regenerate the immune system, it could be a game-changer in the treatment of cancer.

Supercharging Your Immune System

Integrative immunotherapy has already been shown to improve quality of life both during and after cancer treatment. By tapping the power of your body’s immune system and enhancing the ability of immune cells to target cancerous tumors and the tumor microenvironments that affect the growth and spread of cancer, integrative immunotherapy works with your body to defeat cancer naturally without harming surrounding healthy tissue. By aiding regeneration of the immune system, it might be possible for fasting therapy to “supercharge” your immune system’s ability to fight cancer.

Please visit our website for more information on integrative immunotherapy.

Using Your Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Immune Cells
Immune Cells

In several research studies that employed a cancer patient’s own immune cells against her cancer, news reports have called the results “unprecedented” and “miraculous.” If researchers seem surprised by the power of the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, it is because the mainstream Western cancer community has only recently begun to recognize and harness the considerable cancer-fighting benefits of alternative cancer treatments such as immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy Results

Called a “game-changer,” immunotherapy is producing some truly amazing results:

  • Her tumors “melted away.” A woman with a deadly form of cancer that had metastasized to her bile duct, liver and lungs despite traditional treatment saw her tumors “melt away” after immunotherapy. Researchers identified tumor-invading T cells in her immune system that would attack a critical mutation in her cancer cells. Billions of these T cells were manufactured in the lab and infused into her bloodstream. While the woman’s cancer has not disappeared, her tumors are shrinking at an amazing rate and she is hopeful for the first time in years.
  • Cancer-free in 5 months. Another woman whose body was riddled with tumors from metastasized cervical cancer now appears to be cancer-free after a similar immunotherapy treatment. After isolating the immune system cells that were attacking her tumors, researchers multiplied the cells in the lab and infused billions of them back into her body. Just five months after treatment, the woman’s cancer scans started coming back clean and have remained cancer-free for 17 months and counting.

Issels Integrative Oncology has 60 years experience using immunotherapy to fight cancer. Call our alternative cancer treatment centers for information about our T cell treatments and immune system-boosting cancer vaccines.


Interesting New Cancer Treatments

Build Up Your Immune System
Build Up Your Immune System

Cancer treatment is in a state of flux. The three cancer treatments – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation — that have dominated Western medicine for decades are finding much needed competition in interesting new cancer treatments. Recent genetic and cellular research has resulted in discoveries that are broadening our understanding of cancer and how cancer cells interact with the body’s immune system.

These fascinating revelations are refocusing our approach to cancer treatment as traditionalists begin to recognize the benefits of integrative medicine and immunotherapy in treating cancer.

Among the more interesting new treatment approaches are:

  • Strengthening immune response. Genome sequencing is being used to identify immune system cells that attack specific mutations in malignant cells. In a recent trial, billions of immune system cells were replicated in the laboratory and infused into the patient’s bloodstream. According to a New York Times article, the patient’s tumors began “melting away.”
  • Combining alternative and conventional treatments. Increasingly, alternative cancer therapies are being used hand-in-hand with conventional cancer treatments as oncologists recognize the value of taking an integrative approach to treating cancer. By combining immunotherapy with conventional treatment, patients are experiencing better outcomes with fewer problematic side effects.
  • Targeting cell processes. Advanced targeted therapies are being used to manipulate specific cell processes, allowing immune system cells to more effectively and efficiently attack cancer cells. Researchers are also experimenting with genetically reprogramming cells. While promising, early trials have also proven dangerous for the patients, as a recent Forbes article indicates.

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