Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology September 1, 2016  

New Treatment Using T-Cells Fights the Root of Cancer

Dear Friend,

One of the major road blocks in cancer research has been the unchecked mutations undergone by cancer cells, creating a moving target. An international team recently made a discovery that could overcome the problem, leading to a breakthrough for integrative immunotherapy methods.

Targeting the "tree trunk"

The group of researchers found that, in addition to random mutations, cancer cells within an individual also share specific mutations that can be isolated and attacked. Dr. Sergio Quezada of University College London's Cancer Institute, co-author of the study, likened the approach to killing a "tree trunk" rather than fighting a tangle of branches.

Creating customized treatment

Dr. Quezeda went on to explain that a customized vaccine could be developed to attack the core mutations in a particular patient. Another possibility would be discovering which T-cells produced by the immune system fight the specific mutations. Those T-cells would then be "fished" from the patient, multiplied in a lab, and re-injected into the body.

What's in the future?

According to Dr. Quezeda, he believes these specialized treatments would be most effective against melanoma and lung cancer. Both are on the list of the 10 most common forms of cancer in the United States. Dr. Quezeda is hopeful that, in light of this study, trials will begin within five years.

Our Issels® integrative immunotherapy centers have long been in the forefront of using personalized treatment protocols. Each patient receives a specifically created program based on genetic predisposition, lifestyle, environment and other individual factors.

Visit our website to read and watch testimonials from patients who have been successfully treated at the Issels® Treatment Centers.

New Treatment Using T-Cells Fights the Root of Cancer

Read more interesting articles on the "Issels Cancer Immunotherapy" news/blog posted every Tuesday and Thursday. Check It Out Now »

T-Cells Take Center Stage in This New Treatment

This new drug is an antibody that blocks a receptor on the immune system's T-cells called PD-1. When tumor cells activate the PD-1 receptor, they can hide T-cells. If this "checkpoint" is blocked by a PD-1 inhibitor, the T-cells can see the tumor cells and attack them. Researchers hypothesize that melanoma and lung cancer respond so well to PD-1 inhibitors because of their multiple mutations. The mutations may alter genes, causing small stretches of abnormal proteins. The immune system tends to see these as unfamiliar proteins, or antigens. The more of these "neoantigens" there are, the greater an attack from T-cells unleashed from a PD-1 inhibitor.

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Cytokines and T-Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy

The term "cytokine" refers to the immune modulating agents such as interleukins, interferons, tumor necrosis factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). These medications are also called biologic response modifiers. One class of interleukins is Interleukin-2 (IL-2, Aldesleukin, Proleukin), which is normally produced in the body in small amounts. By increasing levels of IL-2, the increase in immune system components, specifically T-cells and Natural Killer Cells, will mount an attack against any cancer cells. The effect depends on the adhesion molecules or signals in the cells.

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Videos – What Do Patients Say About Their Experience?

Watch videos of patients who share their own experiences at the Issels clinics with you. Listen to their stories and cancer journeys.

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