Coley's Mixed Bacterial Vaccine Induced Fever Therapy as a Cancer Treatment

Fever inducing mixed bacterial vaccine treatment has been an integral part of the Integrative Issels cancer treatment since 1951.

Cancer Treatment Summary

Mixed Bacterial Vaccine Therapy

The Coley's Mixed Bacterial Vaccine fever treatment for cancer was pioneered by William B. Coley, who was the attending Bone Surgeon at Memorial Hospital, now Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, from 1893 to 1936.

The Mixed Bacterial Vaccines (MBV) contain a combination of heat killed bacteria, e.g. gram positive Streptococcus pyogenes and gram negative Bacillus prodigiosus, now called Serratia marcescens. In 1943, M.J. Shears, researcher at the National Cancer Institute, discovered that the biologically active substance in Coley's Mixed Bacterial Vaccine is lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that occurs in the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria.

Administered intramuscularly or intravenously, depending on the individual condition of patients who qualify for this treatment, these vaccines induce fever for several hours. During the rise of the fever, patients get chills and feel flu-like symptoms, such as headache, back pain, nausea and pain in the tumor area. In some cases a drop of blood pressure has been observed. Tumors may swell during the fever treatment and sometimes, a few days after, patients may notice a reduction in tumor size.

Research studies explain the anti-tumor effect of Coley's Mixed Bacterial Vaccine through induction of interferon, augmentation of natural killer cell activity, stimulation of lymphoid tissues, activation of macrophages, induction of serum factor that causes necrosis of tumors, as well as stimulation of interleukin 2.

Fever therapy not only has a significant effect on the immune system but on all the defense zones, and especially the reticulo-histiocytary defense zone and the pluripotent mesenchyme (connective tissues). This is also referred to as the "regulatory ground system" which is the system of basic regulation.

Clinical research suggests that the restoration of basic regulatory mechanisms appears to be an important precondition for specific immunotherapy to reach its optimal effect.

Starting in 1951, in his hospital in Germany, Josef M. Issels, M.D. administered, as one part of his integrative immunotherapy fever treatments without any adverse side effects or complications to thousands of patients suffering from progressive metastatic cancer. He was the only physician systematically applying this treatment to a large patient population. Studies carried out in his hospital comparing the white blood count before and shortly after fever therapy showed the remarkable immune enhancing effect of fever therapy.


Hoption Cann SA, van Netten JP, van Netten C "Dr. William Coley and tumor regression: a place in history or in the future." Postgrad Med J 2003; 79:672-680.

Hoption Cann SA, van Netten JP, van Netten C, Glover DW "Spontaneous Regression: a hidden treasure buried in time." Med Hypotheses 2002; 58 (2):115-9.

Hoption Cann SA, Gunn HD, van Netten JP, van Netten C "Spontaneous Regression of pancreatic cancer." Case Rep Clin Pract Rev 2004; 1.

MacAdam DH, "Spontaneous Regression: Cancer and the Immune System" Chapter two 'Coley', Xlibris:Philadelphia 2003.

Heine H, M.D. "Matrix and Matrix Regulation" Significance of the extracellular matrix. Lecture at Biological Therapy Symposium, 1992, Lisbon, Portugal.

Issels JM, M.D."Cancer: A Second Opinion" 1999, New York, Avery Pub. Group ISBN 0-89529-992-5.

Top of Page