Tag Archives: Ovarian Cancer

New Tao Brush Technique May Find More Female Pelvic Cancers Early

New Tao Brush Technique May Find More Female Pelvic Cancers Early
New Tao Brush Technique May Find More Female Pelvic Cancers Early

Ovarian and uterine cancers are often detected too late for effective treatment. Immuno oncology got a major boost recently with the development of an advanced Pap test that can provide early diagnosis.

Improving Early Detection of Female Pelvic Cancers

Researchers from McGill University and Johns Hopkins University teamed up to work on PapSEEK. This safe and minimally invasive test uses Pap samples from the uterus, cervix and blood to identify common genetic mutations in cancer DNA.

While the standard Pap test collects samples from the cervix, McGill professor Lucy Hopkins suggested that the team collect samples from the uterus as well to increase chances of detecting other types of cancer. They used a method called the Tao brush technique to improve the sensitivity of the test.

Going Beyond Traditional Testing

PapSEEK was tested on samples from more than 1,300 women from different hospital sites in different countries. Just over 600 of the samples were from patients with endometrial or ovarian cancer, while the others were healthy controls.

The researchers were able to detect 81 percent of endometrial cancers and 33 percent of ovarian cancers, with higher rates when the Tao brush technique was implemented. In addition, there were no false-positive results.

According to Gilbert, the Pap smear has reduced the number of cervical cancer deaths, but endometrial and ovarian cancers were going undetected. Gilbert believes that PapSEEK will be a valuable breakthrough, just as the original Pap test was.

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An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story

An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story
An Immunotherapy and Ovarian Cancer Success Story

What happens when a patient responds to cancer immunotherapy that, according to advanced medical knowledge, shouldn’t work? Scientists are studying four recent cases where cancer treatment “broke the rules.”

Exceptions to the Rule?

Four women in different countries, who knew each other only through an online support group, were diagnosed with the same rare form of ovarian cancer. Each one persuaded her doctor to use immunotherapy drugs, despite conventional wisdom that the treatment was useless against ovarian cancer.

Against all odds, the patients responded positively, with their tumors going into remission and the women returning to their normal lives. Researchers are hoping to gain insight that will help develop cancer immunotherapy treatments with a broader range of applications.

Why Doctors Were Caught by Surprise

Tumor cells have an ability to deflect attacks from the body’s immune system, allowing them to multiply freely. Immunotherapy is a way of helping the immune system identify and kill cancer cells.

So far immunotherapy has been successful primarily with lung cancer, melanoma and forms with many genetic mutations. By contrast, hypercalcemic ovarian cancer, which is the form that affected the four women, is driven by a single mutation.

The theory is that a lower number of mutations “tricks” the immune system into disregarding the threat posed by cancer cells. Based on the positive results in the women with ovarian cancer, scientists at Johns Hopkins and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are conducting trials with the aim of further refining cancer immunotherapy.

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Synthetic Biomarkers May Aid in Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Early Treatment of Ovarian Cancer is Important

Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to detect in the early stages, resulting in poor survival rates for patients. MIT engineers have developed a synthetic biomarker that could detect ovarian tumors five months earlier than current testing methods.

Early Cancer Treatment of Ovarian Tumors

Five-year survival rates surpass 90 percent when ovarian cancer is detected early. Unfortunately, the disease is usually asymptomatic in the earlier stages. Any symptoms that do present tend to be non-specific, such as fatigue and weight loss.

Current testing looks for the presence of blood biomarkers produced by ovarian tumors, but it can take eight to 10 years for them to reach a high enough concentration to be detected. Ultrasound imaging reveals only tumors that are at least one centimeter in diameter.

Synthetic vs. Natural Biomarkers

Synthetic biomarkers are nanoparticles that interact with tumor proteins. The process releases fragments that can be detected in a patient’s urine, resulting in a more accurate test than one conducted on natural biomarkers in the bloodstream.

Professor Sangeeta Bhatia and her team at MIT engineered a synthetic biomarker to be approximately 15 times better than a previous version. The nanoparticle was then tested against a blood biomarker in mice with ovarian cancer.

The synthetic biomarker was able to detect ovarian cancer composed of tumors as small as two millimeters in diameter. Researchers are now testing the possibility of using this method with other types of cancer.

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Every case of cancer is unique, so we use specialized testing to determine the best approach for each patient. Contact us for more information about our immunotherapy cancer treatment programs.

Ovarian Cancer May Now be linked to Douching

Is Douching Really a Good Idea?
Is Douching Really a Good Idea?

Douching dates back to ancient times, but studies have uncovered numerous reasons why it’s more harmful than good. Now comes news that women who douche may be doubling their chances of developing ovarian cancer.

First Study to Link Douching with Ovarian Cancer

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) recently issued the results of a study begun in 2003 involving 41,000 women in the United States and Puerto Rico. All were between the ages of 35 and 74 and had a sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, although they themselves had neither breast nor ovarian cancer.

In July 2014, ovarian cancer was detected in 154 women. Those who reported douching during the year prior to entering the study were nearly twice as likely to have developed ovarian cancer. The reasons behind the connection are still unknown and will be explored through further research.

Is Douching Necessary?

While douching is supposedly hygienic, it actually results in an excess of bacteria that can back up into the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Health problems linked with douching include pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer and reduced fertility.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 25 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 44 use douches. Clarice Weinberg, lead author of the NIEHS study, warns that there are “a number of health reasons not to douche” and no good reasons to continue.

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Our immunotherapy for cancer treatments have helped patients diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer as well as many other forms. Contact us to learn more about our personalized non-toxic treatment methods.

50% of Ovarian Cancer Patients Missed Early Treatment

Missed Early Treatment
Missed Early Treatment

A shocking study published by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston concluded that half of the patients eligible for intraperitoneal/intravenous chemotherapy, a form of treatment that is delivered into the body cavity and the veins of a patient, did not receive the treatment, even though they could have because they were eligible. The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and frequent urination, though often these symptoms are mistaken for other minor problems.

It’s important to check with a doctor if you are experiencing strange symptoms in the lower abdominal region, as they are often more than just a reaction to digestion. Ovarian cancer is so dangerous because most patients only find out about it when it’s too late, and not earlier when it could have been prevented and or mitigated. A study performed in 2006 showed that this cancer treatment led to over a year where the disease exhibited no signs of progression. It also said that people who took this treatment lived four to five years longer than those who only took intravenous treatment.

It’s critical to survival rates to discover ovarian cancer before it’s too late; a whopping one-third of those who receive treatment early are reported to live ten years longer than those who didn’t receive any at all.

At Issels®, the Center for Immuno-Oncology, we are committed to helping all our patients experience the best survival rate possible following an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Through a combination of better eating habits and non-toxic treatment options, your prognosis has never had a more shining future. Contact us today for more information.

“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.