Tag Archives: Immunotherapy Drugs

Cancer Therapies at the Molecular Level in Intracellular Proteins

Cancer Therapies at the Molecular Level in Intracellular Proteins
Cancer Therapies at the Molecular Level in Intracellular Proteins

As scientists work to refine immunotherapy cancer treatment, they also look for ways to determine which patients are most likely to respond. According to a recent study, one of the answers may lie within a patient’s genetics.

HLA Molecules and Intracellular Proteins

T-cells are a type of white blood cell that’s part of the immune system. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules help direct T-cells towards cancer cells by binding peptides from intracellular proteins, including those found on tumor cells.

Some immunotherapy treatments that have been successful in fighting metastatic cancers focus on promoting activity of HLA-1 molecules. A research team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center genotyped more than 1,500 advanced cancer patients to determine if HLA variants had an effect on post-treatment survival.

Do HLA Variants Affect Cancer Treatment?

Since HLA-1 molecules come in a number of different forms with several variants, the researchers speculated that those variations would influence the patients’ responses to treatment. As expected, patients with greater diversity in HLA-1 molecules had a corresponding increase in survival rates.

The study also considered the correlation between somatic mutations within a cancer genome and HLA-1 variations. A higher tumor mutation burden in combination with more diverse HLA-1 molecules was linked to higher survival rates as well.

Gene-Targeted Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Advanced gene-targeted therapies are just one of the treatments available for our comprehensive and individually tailored programs. Non-toxic gene-targeted therapies attack only cancerous cells, making them less harmful to healthy tissues.

Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines, NK cells and other treatment programs offered at Issels®.

Pancreatic Cancer: Hijacking the Immune System to Hide Its Growth

Pancreatic Cancer: Hijacking the Immune System to Hide Its Growth
Pancreatic Cancer: Hijacking the Immune System to Hide Its Growth

With a five-year survival rate of only three percent, pancreatic cancer is one of the more difficult types of cancer to treat. Scientists from Cancer Research UK, in collaboration with scientists from pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, recently announced their discovery of a promising method to help defeat these tumors.

Pancreatic Cancer’s “Stealth Attack”

The immune system is your body’s first line of defense against cancer cells and other foreign bodies that threaten your health. In the case of pancreatic cancer, once the cells make it past the initial gauntlet, they move on to hijack parts of the immune system to facilitate their growth.

The UK study, published in Cancer Cell, reported the team’s discovery of CXCR2, which is a protein that serves as the gatekeeper for pancreatic tumors, guarding them from attack by immune cells. Use of an experimental drug that blocks CXCR2 allowed T-cells to enter the tumor, making it more vulnerable to treatment.

Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

Until now, the shielding process has made pancreatic cancer particularly resistant to immunotherapy. Professor Peter Johnson, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said their study suggests that using the new drug in concert with immunotherapy treatments could create “a powerful weapon” in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Using the Body’s Natural Defenses to Defeat Cancer

For more than 60 years, our Issels® center has been the leader in the use of immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer and many other types. Contact us today for more information about our personalized non-toxic treatments, including cancer vaccines, hyperthermia and gene-targeted therapies.

Could this be an Accidental Miracle for the Treatment of Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer Myths BustedAwareness Month
Promising Immunotherapy Treatment Protocol for Breast Cancer

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently made an exciting breakthrough in breast cancer immunotherapy treatment. Ironically, the discovery they made was neither sought after nor expected.

An accidental miracle?

A group of surgeons at the University of Manchester set out to test the use of a two-drug combo on tumors between the times of diagnosis and surgical excision. The drugs in question, traztusumab (Herceptin) and lapatinib (Tyverb) had previously been used individually in treatment.

While the intent was to study the effects of the drugs on tumor biology, the surgeons were stunned at the dramatic but unanticipated results. After only 11 days, 87 percent of the 257 participants experienced a significant reduction in cancer cells, while 11 percent showed no cancer cells at all.

Implications for future breast cancer treatments

Each of the women participating in the study had a form of breast cancer known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, also referred to as HER2 positive breast cancer. Herceptin works by blocking growth signals to HER2 receptors on the surface of the cancer cells, while Tyverb does the same from within the cells.

According to lead researcher Nigel Bundred, the results are a promising sign for tailoring individual treatments with breast cancer patients. The team is “cautiously optimistic” about indications that taking the drugs immediately after diagnosis may eliminate the need for chemotherapy.

At our Issels® center, we consider factors such as lifestyle and environment to create personalized breast cancer immunotherapy treatment. Visit our website to learn more about our cancer vaccines, cell therapies and other non-toxic immuno-oncology protocols.

Hard to Fight Pancreatic Cancer Responds to Immunotherapy

New Cancer Treatment For Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment News: Chemotherapy Plus Immunotherapy

Pancreatic cancer is one of the more difficult forms to diagnose, resulting in a low survival rate. A recent study found that immunotherapy for cancer holds great promise for more effective treatment.

Current treatments for pancreatic cancer

Surgery is the best option for pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, the tumors are often discovered too late for surgery to be feasible. Doctors are left to use chemotherapy and other methods to control the cancer.

Medical breakthrough with immunotherapy

Researchers at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York set out to find a treatment that could make pancreatic cancer more receptive to surgery. The test involved use of PF-0416309, an immunotherapy drug that targets immune cells in pancreatic tumors.

Subjects included 47 patients whose pancreatic cancer had begun to spread. Eight received chemotherapy alone, while the others received a combination of chemotherapy and the immunotherapy drug.

Most of those who received the combination experienced a halt in the tumor’s growth, which was double the rate projected by the research team. Some saw their tumors shrink, while in one patient the cancer disappeared.

What’s next?

Side effects forced three patients to drop out, but otherwise no one had side effects more serious than those with chemotherapy alone. The researchers now plan to extend the scope of the test with phase 2 trials.

Issels® is the leader in immunotherapy for cancer

For years, our Issels® center has been ahead of the curve on immunotherapy for cancer. Our treatment programs are created individually,

based on each patient’s specific needs. Visit our website to learn more about cancer vaccines and other non-toxic immunotherapy treatments.

Chemotherapy Takes a Back Seat to Immunotherapy for One Patient

Fighting Cancer
Fighting Cancer

Who could testify to the benefits of immunotherapy with more credibility than an actual patient? Philip Pritchard of Memphis was diagnosed with renal cell cancer. Thanks to treatment with immunotherapy drug nivolumab, Pritchard has seen all traces of the disease virtually disappear.

Pritchard’s battle with cancer

Even after undergoing surgery and other treatments, Pritchard’s cancer had metastasized to his liver and lungs. An eight-inch, three-and-a-half pound tumor had been removed from his kidney. Pritchard had only months to live when he came under the care of oncologist Nizar M. Tannir at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Implementation of immunotherapy

Pritchard became one of the patients in Tannir’s clinical trial of nivolumab. The first signs came within two weeks, when Pritchard stopped suffering from  the cancer’s side effects like pain, night sweats and anemia. Four infusions over eight weeks led to a 50-60 percent reduction in the size of the main tumor.

That was in early 2013. Today, two years later, 50-year-old Pritchard has regained his health to such an extent that Tannir is considering the end of medication.

How do these immunotherapy drugs work?

Cancer cells have an innate ability to avoid the body’s T-cells, which are sent out by the immune system to attack foreign elements. Nivolumab and the other immunotherapy drugs are “checkpoint inhibitors” that remove the “brakes” keeping T-cells from doing their job.

Our Center for Immuno-Oncology creates a personalized therapy protocol using information about your genetics, lifestyle and environment. We work with patients diagnosed with all types and stages of cancer. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive treatment programs.