Tag Archives: Melanoma Treatment

Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage

Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage
Experimental Blood Test May be Used to Detect Melanoma at an Early Stage

Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, has a survival rate of up to 95 percent that is reduced nearly in half by late diagnosis. An experimental blood test for melanoma showing high degrees of accuracy could make it easier for patients to receive timely cancer treatment.

Finding Clues in the Bloodstream

Antibodies are produced by the body’s immune system to attack foreign substances, including cancer cells. A research team at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia conducted a study using blood samples to identify particular antibodies created in the immune response to melanoma.

The 245 test subjects included both melanoma patients and healthy volunteers. After the team identified a combination of 10 antibodies specific to the presence of melanoma, they were able to detect melanoma patients with 79 percent accuracy and healthy participants with 84 percent accuracy.

Progress in Early Cancer Detection

Professor Mel Ziman, leader of the project, said the team is proceeding on a trial with 1,000 participants to get the accuracy rate up to the required 90 percent level. Ziman projects that with a successful outcome, the test could be commercially available within five years.

While early detection makes a vital difference in successful melanoma treatment, current testing methods are costly and invasive. Scientists around the world are also making progress on blood tests to identify several types of cancer, including ovarian, lung and esophagus.

Better Testing = More Effective Cancer Treatment

Issels® uses extensive standard and genomic testing to determine the specific course of cancer treatment best suited for each patient. Visit our website for more information about our state-of-the-art diagnostic methods.

New Research: Melanoma Drug Causes Decrease in Lung Cancer Tumors

Lung Cancer On The Decline
Fighting Lung Cancer With Skin Cancer Drugs

At our Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology centers, we treat a wide variety of cancers including lung cancer. As previously mentioned, we offer this blog to give patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers, educators and students as much information as possible about new, beneficial immunotherapy advances that we feel can help patients.

As reported in May in the New England Journal of Medicine, a recent study found that nivolumab (Opdivo), a new immune checkpoint inhibitor drug that reveals cancer cells that pretend to be healthy cells to help push the immune system to destroy the cancer, is stopping the spread of melanoma and lung cancers almost two times better than ipilimumab (Yervoy).

Side Effects

Side effects with all immunotherapy drug treatments continue to be a problem for as many as 70 to 80 percent of patients. These two drugs were no different. Both caused side effects and the effects increased when the drugs were tested in combination.

Positive Outcomes

Researchers believe the outstanding results outweigh any side effects given there were no deaths during a trial that focused on 945 patients who had advanced and untreated melanoma. Best yet:

  • Patients who received nivolumab experienced a 7-month disease slowdown and a 34 percent tumor reduction versus a 3-month ipilimumab slowdown and 6 percent tumor reduction.
  • Combining both drugs resulted in a 11.5-month slowdown and a 52-percent reduction.

We believe at Issels® that the discovery of nivolumab (Opdivo) as a lung cancer treatment option, and the discovery of the higher effectiveness of the drug when used in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy), represent incredible breakthroughs in immunotherapy and non-toxic treatment solutions. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Drug Combo for Melanoma May Prove to be a Silver Bullet for This Cancer

Birth Control Pills
New Drug Concoction for Melanoma

Encouraging news from successful immuno-oncology treatments for cancer: a recent study shows that a particular combination may notably prolong life for patients with melanoma. British researchers are studying the effects of two drugs — ipilimumab and nivolumab — to see if one or both drugs works best for patients with inoperable melanoma or metastatic melanoma.

As immuno-oncology drugs, both medications work by delivering antibodies that train the immune system to kill cancer cells.

Melanoma Immunotherapy Results

The results so far show that nivolumab alone may deliver better outcomes than ipilimumab alone. When taken together, patients have survived even longer. For individual patients, the results can vary depending on the presence of a certain protein, PD1.

A breakdown of the outcomes for patients with advanced and difficult melanoma:

  • Patients taking only ipilimumab have survived 2.9 months
  • Patients taking only nivolumab have survived 6.9 months
  • Patients taking the combination have survived 11.5 months
  • The blind, controlled study is still ongoing, so results may evolve

Nivolumab specifically targets cancer cells by attaching to the PD1 protein. For patients whose tumors carry PD1, treatment with nivolumab alone may be as effective as the combo. If the PD1 protein is not present, however, the combo has been performing better than ipilimumab alone.

While ipilimumab has been approved in the U.S. and European Union, the newer drug nivolumab has only been approved for trials. The promising results of the drug for PD1-positive patients, and the possibility that it creates a “one-two punch” with other immunotherapy treatments, gives hope that patients with melanoma will soon have access to the drug.

Visit Issels® for more information about immuno-oncology and our currently available treatments.

Promising New Treatments Use Molecular Cancer Classifications for Melanoma

Cancer Treatment in Tijuana
Preventing Melanoma

In a groundbreaking effort that could lead to improved strategies even for stage four melanoma treatment, researchers have gathered national data to better determine cancer risk of four major molecular subtypes of cancer. What does this mean for your cancer treatment efforts? Issels® wants you to know.

Improved classification of data = better treatment.
Broken down by age, race/ethnicity, poverty level, and other factors, the data gathered will help researchers more accurately determine the degree of risk, and cancer patients better understand health implications based on their breast cancer subtype, as each of the four major molecular subtypes responds differently to treatment and has varying survival rates.

More access = better treatment.
Also improving strategies for stage four melanoma treatment, the data gathered has been recorded by cancer registries nationwide, making widely available medically important information to guide therapeutic strategies for these cancer subtypes.

Faster identification = better treatment.
The new diagnostic categories identified by researchers will further support the prevention and treatment of multiple types of cancer, as well as monitor their incidence and outcomes, providing further necessary data for the use in stage four melanoma treatment.

Promising findings = a better future for you.
The findings, as well as the statistical analysis of the most common types of cancer, were reported in “The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2011,” which also confirmed encouraging trends in cancer mortality among men, women, and children alike, reflecting the progress made over the years in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment.

Struggling with stage four melanoma treatment? Issels® help you on the path to recovery. Contact us today.