Tag Archives: integrative immunotherapy

Coley’s Toxin – the First Immunotherapy?

Coley's Toxin - the First Immunotherapy?
Coley’s Toxin – the First Immunotherapy?

When it comes to cancer treatment, immunotherapy is a hot buzzword right now, but it may not be as new as it seems. Many scientists believe that the first immunotherapy treatments date back to the late 1800s.

Coley’s Toxins: The Original Immunotherapy?

William Coley, a surgeon in turn-of-the-century New York, made a peculiar discovery about one of his patients. Fred Stein, who had been diagnosed with cancer, began making a recovery after contracting a serious infection.

Dr. Coley thought that perhaps bacteria from the infection jump-started Stein’s immune system, causing it to attack the tumors. This experience inspired the doctor to begin treating inoperable cancer patients with bacterial injections that came to be known as Coley’s toxins.

While Coley’s treatments did achieve some success, there was little documentation to support his findings. As a result, the doctor’s peers continued to favor radiation and chemotherapy as cancer treatments of choice.

A Man Ahead of His Time

For all intents and purposes, Dr. Coley’s methods died with him in 1936. Now, more than 80 years later, immunotherapy cancer treatment is “here to stay,” according to Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, chief executive of the Cancer Research Institute.

Immunotherapies known as checkpoint inhibitors are some of the top-selling drugs around the world. Checkpoint inhibitors follow Dr. Coley’s principle of boosting the body’s own immune response.

Dr. Josef M. Issels: A Pioneer of Immunotherapy

We’re proud to carry on the legacy of our founder, Dr. Josef M. Issels, who was also an early proponent of immunotherapy cancer treatment. Contact Issels® for more information about our individually created immunotherapy programs.

Major Growth in Immunotherapy for Cancer Expected Before 2020

Immunotherapy is Growing!
Immunotherapy is Growing!

Have you been noticing the topic of cancer immunotherapy in news and advertisements? Expect to see it more often in the near future as experts predict a significant increase in the market by the year 2020.

What Is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is the general term for treating disease by affecting the immune system. Suppression immunotherapy restrains the immune system as opposed to cancer immunotherapy, which focuses on activating the immune response.

The immune system is the network that keeps your body safe from viruses, bacteria and other disease-causing organisms. When a foreign substance enters your system, it triggers an immune response to eliminate the threat.

Many types of cancer cells have the ability to slide “under the radar” and avoid detection by immune cells, giving them the opportunity to multiply and travel to other parts of the body. Immunotherapy works to remove the “shield” around cancer cells and help the immune system do its job.

Why Has Immunotherapy Become So Important?

  • Cancer immunotherapy treatments are created to specifically target cancer cells, so they have been useful against increasingly diverse forms of cancer.
  • Immunotherapy has fewer side effects than traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Many immunotherapy treatments have proved to be successful, encouraging continued research and development.

Issels®: An Integrative Approach to Cancer Treatment

For more than 50 years, Issels® has been a leader in the development and use of innovative immunotherapy programs. No two cases of cancer are the same, and we use comprehensive testing to formulate personalized treatments. Visit our website for more information about our non-toxic therapies.

The Issels Story – a Focus on Immunotherapy

Another Step in Stopping Cancer
We Are Dedicated to Stopping Cancer

Immunotherapy for cancer has been a hot topic in the news lately, but the methods are far from new. Our founder, Dr. Josef Issels, was a pioneer in the field of integrative immuno-oncology dating back to the mid-20th century.

Josef Issels: A Life Dedicated to Fighting Cancer

Dr. Issels began his trailblazing path in 1948, conducting extensive research on the causes of cancer while working in his native Germany. His studies focused on the role of the immune system in fighting cancer as well as microbial aspects of the disease.

In 1951, Dr. Issels founded the first hospital in the world devoted exclusively to integrative immunotherapy, focusing on patients for whom traditional treatments had failed. The revolutionary Issels program went above and beyond standard tumor-centered treatments, and many patients experienced partial or total long-term remission.

As the integrative procedures developed by Dr. Issels continued to generate successful results, the hospital added 35 beds in 1970 for a total of 125. The scope of research also expanded to include programs such as vaccines, hypothermia and mycoplasma.

After Dr. Issels retired, he brought his innovative immuno-oncology programs to America. Since his death in 1998, his wife, Ilse Marie, has continued his work alongside their sons, Christian and Hellmut. The trio has maintained the same dedication and level of excellence set forth by Dr. Issels.

Issels® Continues to Lead the Way in Immunotherapy for Cancer

Nearly 70 years later, our patients continue to benefit from the foresight and tireless work of Josef Issels. Contact us for more information about our state-of-the-art programs that are personally tailored to meet each patient’s specific needs.

New Smart Blood Test Allows Doctors to Tailor Treatment

New Smart Blood Test Allows Doctors to Tailor Treatment
New Smart Blood Test Allows Doctors to Tailor Treatment

One of the challenges doctors face in treating cancer is the difficulty of determining the most effective treatment protocols for each patient. Researchers are optimistic that liquid biopsies, or “smart blood tests,” will help match patients with appropriate therapies.

Using DNA Tracking for Individualized Treatment

At our Issels® center, immunotherapy for cancer is tailored to a patient’s specific case, including location of the tumor and its microenvironment. Liquid biopsies track cancer DNA, enabling doctors to customize a patient’s treatment and monitor progress.

Blood tests are minimally invasive, so patients could undergo the process frequently with no ill effects. Doctors can then track changes more accurately over time and determine whether treatment should be changed or modified.

Liquid Blood Tests Undergo Groundbreaking Trial

This fall, scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London will launch the plasmaMATCH trial with 1,000 breast cancer patients. Breast cancer makes a good test subject due to its propensity to mutate as a defense against treatment.

If the trial results are encouraging, experts hope that liquid biopsies will become a standard element of cancer care within the next two years. According to Professor Johann de Bono of the Institute of Cancer Research, smart blood tests could lead to major changes in cancer screening and risk assessment with the general public.

Personally Tailored Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®

Our non-toxic immunotherapy protocols are based on a patient’s particular tumor and microenvironment, as well as personal factors such as lifestyle and genetic predispositions. Contact us for more information, including testimonials from patients with all forms of cancer.


What’s Happening in Immunotherapy Research – Part One

What's New in Immunotherapy
What’s New in Immunotherapy

As immunotherapy for cancer continues to gain traction in the medical community, researchers around the globe are directing their efforts toward finding new treatment methods and improving existing ones. Here’s a look at some of the exciting developments in immunotherapy treatments that are making news today.

Refining Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, are proteins that take advantage of the difference between cancer cells and normal cells. Scientists are exploring ways to make mAbs even more powerful, such as attaching them to drugs or other substances, while making them less likely to trigger an immune response. They are also working on combining mAbs for a more focused attack on tumors.

CAR T-Cells

T-cells, which are part of the immune system, have long been a major subject of immunotherapy research. Recent trials involve removing T-cells from a patient, genetically adding CARs (chimeric antigen receptors), then returning them to the patient’s blood, where they can more precisely target cancer cells. This method has shown particularly promising results in cases featuring advanced forms of leukemia and lymphoma.

Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes

Another approach using T-cells centers on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) found deep within tumors. The TILs are removed from tumor samples and treated with interleukin-2 so they multiply rapidly. Once injected back into the patient, the TILs are better equipped to fight cancer cells.

Issels®: A Pioneer in Immunotherapy Treatments

In our next post, we’ll continue our look at the latest updates on research centering on immunotherapy for cancer. Contact us to learn more about how Issels® has been a leader in personalized, non-toxic immunotherapy protocols.

Gut Flora and Cancer – the Important Connection

Using Gut Flora in Treatment Has Benefits Comparable to Anti-Cancer Drugs
Using Gut Flora in Treatment Has Benefits Comparable to Anti-Cancer Drugs

When it comes to your health, the term “bacteria” usually inspires a negative reaction. You may be surprised to learn that your body actually harbors “good” bacteria that boosts your immune system and plays a role in preventing cancer.

The Role of Gut Flora

Your body’s microbiome is a network containing trillions of organisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Some are positive and some are not, but they all work together to maintain a balance that keeps your system in good working condition.

In the late 1990s, scientists began to discover the crucial value of the group of organisms centered in your colon, referred to as “gut flora.” Research has found that healthy gut flora contributes to a strong immune system, which is your body’s first line of defense against foreign organisms that cause illness and disease.

Gut Flora and the Fight against Cancer

Cancer cells can often evade detection by your body’s immune system, allowing them to grow unchecked. Traditional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy are effective, but they end up destroying healthy cells as well.

Researchers from the University of Chicago, encouraged by positive results from testing on mice, included gut flora as part of integrative immunotherapy treatments. The successful results were comparable to the beneficial effects of anti-cancer drugs.

State-of-the-Art Integrative Immunotherapy at Issels®

Integrative immunotherapy programs used at Issels® are focused on harnessing your body’s own natural defenses to destroy cancer cells. Visit our website to learn more about our cancer vaccines, immune enhancement protocols and other personalized non-toxic treatments.