Experimental treatment uses immune system to fight Cancer – Immunotherpy coming to US in 2015

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.

Immune-Modifying Agents

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

Also See:

Related Resources

*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. Sad smile

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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4 Responses to Experimental treatment uses immune system to fight Cancer – Immunotherpy coming to US in 2015

  1. Ask Marion says:

    Sent directly to AskMarioin via email:

    George King:

    Dear Marion, I hope this finds you doing better with your cancer ! I have a friend who has had several hard to treat cancers, if not untreatable, and now due to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, he was treated with Immunology treatments and he is a happy man today and cancer free ! This has been several years ago too ! I don’t know if you want to check into UVMC in Virginia or not, but here is their address and phone number, it sure did work for my friend ! Their address is 1215 Lee Street, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908– Phone # 434-924-0211 or 434-924-9333 ! God Bless You Marion – HE’S the only one that can lead you to the right place, for the Lord’s Sake !! Please Keep On Keepin On sister and let me know your thoughts on this girl !! For Liberty Forever, Your Patriotic Friend , George

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