Experimental treatment uses our own immune system to fight Cancer – Immunotherapy is finally coming to the US. The clinical trials are coming in 2015 through Advaxis for metastatic Cancers at many of the top US Cancer hospitals. Neither Europe nor Israel us chemo therapy or radiation to treat Cancer. Israel has made great strides with immunotherapy but only one of the medicines they have developed has thus far has been approved by the FDA through Merck and is being used in the U.S., and only a few of the other techniques discussed below have been utilized in the US so far. There are many natural cures, innovative treatments and alternative procedures out there beside chemo and radiation and some of them are finally being recognized, tested and implemented on a larger scale.
By Ask Marion – Cross-Posted at True Health Is True Wealth (THITW)
Our immune system’s natural capacity to detect and destroy abnormal cells may prevent the development of many Cancers. Some Cancers, however, are able to avoid detection and destruction by the immune system. They may actually produce signals that reduce the immune system’s ability to detect and kill tumor cells, or they may have changes that make it harder for the immune system to recognize and target them.
Immunotherapies are treatments that restore or enhance the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. In just the past few years, the rapidly advancing field of cancer immunology has produced several new methods of treating cancer that increase the strength of immune responses against tumors. These therapies either stimulate the activities of specific components of the immune system or counteract signals produced by cancer cells that suppress immune responses.
The journal Science designated “immunotherapy of cancer” as its Breakthrough of the Year in 2013 to recognize the progress made in this area. These advances are the result of long-term basic scientific research on the immune system and the final willingness of the American medical community to admit that chemotherapy and radiation often harm patients by weakening their immune system and bodies because they kill the good cells along with the Cancer cells.
Additional research is underway to: increase our understanding of what enables immunotherapy to work in some patients but not in others who have the same Cancer; to expand the use of immunotherapy to more types of Cancer; and to better understand how to use immunotherapies in combination with targeted therapies and other standard treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We can only hope that they are looking at the Israelis’ progress and studies as well as the methods that the other countries are using and new innovations in other alternative areas like cannabis oils for curing Cancer, not just relieving the affects of the symptoms of both the Cancer and the chemo and radiation treatments.
Immune Checkpoint Modulators
One immunotherapy approach is to block the activity of certain proteins that limit the strength of immune responses. These proteins normally keep immune responses in check to prevent overly strong responses that might damage normal cells as well as abnormal cells. In cancer cells, these “checkpoint” proteins may be abnormal and may help tumors to evade the immune response.
Blocking one of these checkpoint proteins could lift the brakes on the immune system, enabling it to destroy cancer cells. The first immune checkpoint modulator to gain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval is called ipilimumab (Yervoy). This immunotherapy drug, a monoclonal antibody, blocks the activity of a checkpoint protein called CTLA4 and has been approved to treat advanced melanoma.
Immune Cell Therapy
An experimental form of immunotherapy is adoptive cell transfer (ACT). In one form of ACT, cytotoxic T cells that have invaded a patient’s tumor, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), are harvested. The cells with the greatest antitumor activity are selected, and large populations of these cells are grown in the laboratory and activated with cytokines. The cells are then infused back into the patient.
The idea is that TILs already have the ability to target tumor cells but may not be present in sufficient amounts to exert an antitumor effect. If the activity of the TILs is being suppressed by the tumor cells, it may be possible to overcome that suppression by exposing the tumor to massive amounts of activated TILs.
In another form of ACT, often referred to as CAR therapy, a patient’s T cells are collected from their blood and genetically modified to express hybrid proteins called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) before they are expanded and infused into the patient. The CAR allows the cells to attach to specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells, which activates the T cells to attack those cells.
Cancer Treatment Vaccines
The use of cancer treatment (or therapeutic) vaccines is another approach to immunotherapy. These vaccines are usually made from a patient’s own tumor cells or from substances taken from tumor cells. They are designed to treat cancers that have already developed by strengthening the body’s natural defenses against the cancer. Treatment vaccines may act in any of several ways: to delay or stop the growth of Cancer cells; to cause tumor shrinkage; to prevent Cancer from coming back; and to eliminate Cancer cells that have not been killed by other forms of treatment’
Developing effective Cancer treatment vaccines requires a detailed understanding of how immune system cells and cancer cells interact. To be effective, cancer treatment vaccines must stimulate specific immune responses against the correct target. The immune responses must also be powerful enough to overcome the barriers that cancer cells use to protect themselves from attack by B cells and killer T cells.
Recent advances in understanding how Cancer cells escape recognition and attack by the immune system are now giving researchers the knowledge required to design cancer treatment vaccines that can accomplish both goals.
In 2010, the FDA approved the first cancer treatment vaccine, sipuleucel-T (Provenge), for use in some men with metastatic prostate cancer.
Another type of immunotherapy uses immune-modifying agents, such as cytokines, antibodies, and growth factors, to enhance the body’s immune response against cancer. Cytokines are signaling proteins that are produced by white blood cells, and they help regulate immune responses. Two types of cytokines are used to treat patients with cancer: interferons and interleukins.
Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute, developed the first effective immunotherapies and gene therapies for patients with advanced cancer.
Immune-modifying agents may work through different mechanisms. A type of interferon, for example, enhances a patient’s immune response to cancer cells by activating certain white blood cells, such as natural killer cells and dendritic cells. Recent advances in understanding how cytokines stimulate immune cells could enable the development of more effective immunotherapies and combinations of these agents.
Research at NCI
Immunotherapy research at NCI is done across the institute and spans the continuum from basic science discoveries to clinical research applications.
The Center of Excellence in Immunology (CEI) brings together researchers from across NCI and other NIH institutes to foster the discovery, development, and delivery of immunotherapy approaches to prevent and treat cancer and cancer-associated viral diseases.
There are some doctors, researchers and programs that have been working on immunology for quite some as well as on other Cancer cures but it has taken the AMA and FDA a long time to come around.
Video: Cancer Immunotherapy
Video: Cancer the Forbidden Cures
- Cannabis Oil is a Highly Efficient Natural Cancer Cure – Natural News
- Breakthrough! Have The Israelis Developed A Cure For Cancer?
- Here is some info about their Immunology program at U of Virginia Medical Center
- Sanoviv is another great alternative facility but not covered by most medical insurance programs
- Biological Therapies for Cancer
- A Transfer of Power: Harnessing Patients’ Immune Cells to Treat Their Cancer
- CAR T-Cell Therapy: Engineering Patients’ Immune Cells to Treat Their Cancers
- Cancer immunotherapy in children: How does it differ from approaches in adults?
- Adopting Bodily Defenses to Cure Cancer
- First-in-Humans Study of New Immunotherapy Agent
- Twitter Chat on Immunotherapy – June 18, 2014
*This is great news for Cancer sufferers, including me, but will generally only be available for those who can become part of a study at this time!! I want to take this time to thank all my readers and friends for sticking with me the past 3-months since I was diagnosed with inoperable uterine/vaginal Cancer (Oct 1st 2014) and for those who asked about and suggested a donate button be added to our site for donations, as well as for all the prayers and messages of good wishes and concern. Although I am not out of the woods yet, I had some great news right before Christmas!! My tumor has shrunk, the surrounding Cancer affected cysts and polyps have been reduced by 2/3’s and the others are shrinking, plus the swollen lymph nodes are back to normal. My doctor looked shocked at my progress! I credit it to the man upstairs, to all the people praying for me and to the donations which have certainly helped to ease my stress a bit; every dollar helps! Our family deductible on our new healthcare policy, which took affect on Oct 1st, is $12K a year for 2 of us and the premiums take up a huge part of my husband’s salary at his new job after being out of work for 18-months. Thank you ObamaCare and to the outreaching effects thereof.