Advanced Targeted Cancer Therapies
The comprehensive strategy of Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology includes advanced targeted cancer therapies when indicated and always tailored to the individual patient's needs. Targeted cancer therapies are medications that block the growth and spread of cancerous cells by interfering with specific molecules needed for tumor growth and progression.
These targeted therapies are designed to inhibit only cancerous cell replication and tumor growth, whereas traditional chemotherapy-based treatments destroy rapidly dividing cancerous as well as healthy non-cancerous cells alike.
Targeted therapies, although chemical drugs, are not only less harmful to normal cells and less toxic than traditional chemotherapy, but they have also been shown to improve outcomes in patients who qualify for these treatments.
Types of Cell Processes that Can Be Targeted and Blocked
Drugs that selectively modulate estrogen receptors are:
Drugs called "signal transduction inhibitors" that block specific enzymes and growth factor receptors, which are involved in cancer proliferation, include:
- Gleevec for chronic myelogenous leukemia and other types of cancer
- Tarceva for non-small cell lung cancer
- Rituxan for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Erbitux for colon cancer and squamous cell cancer of head and neck
Drugs that block the growth of blood vessels to tumors (angiogenesis) include:
- Nexavar, a small-molecule inhibitor used for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Targeted therapies are generally well tolerated and have less toxic side effects, but also have limitations. The main limitation is the potential of cells to develop resistance.
Advantages of Using Targeted Therapy for Cancer Treatment
1. Most targeted therapies recommended are oral, which allow patients relatively independent control over dosage and dosing schedule. Patients can continue treatment at home without the need for frequent return office visits, but rather with regular distant follow-up care.
2. Financial coverage and support of these expensive medications are usually available depending on insurance status and through manufacturer assistance programs based on certain qualifications.
3. We work with a specialized laboratory in the United States to determine the right targeted therapy for patients whose condition warrants the integration of these specialized therapies into their comprehensive immunotherapy treatment program.