You have to find a doctor, perhaps a GP who believes in this approach. They take your blood, transport it to the lab and then arrange for it to be put back in your body after the Dendritic cells are boosted.
- DC Therapy
- Pharma News
Dendritic Cell (DC) therapy represents a new and promising immunotherapeutic approach for treatment of advanced cancer as well as for prevention of cancer. As Dr. Harmon Eyre, the VP of Research at the AMA commented: “Patients’ responses are far out of proportion to anything that any current therapy could do”. For decades, cancer researchers have been interested in immunologic treatments against cancer but with little progress. However, recent advances lead to successful implementation of Dendritic Cell therapy with reports of complete responses even in stage IV cancer patients who have failed all other therapies. Dendritic Cell (DC) Therapy or so-called Dendritic Cell vaccine is a newly emerging and potent form of immune therapy used to treat cancer. To learn more about vaccine and Dendritic Cell therapy for cancer, please read the following:
1. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Cancer Trials Australia and Clinical Trials Victoria
Dendritic cell therapy
Raymond J Wood
Ground Floor, 10 St Andrew’s Place
+61 3 9656 1615
+61 3 9656 1650
Reference found on this page
Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Dendritic Cell and Cancer Laboratory
Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane 4029, Australia. alejL@qimr.edu.au
Seems to be doing Breast Cancer Dendritic cell therapy. Find contact information from the link above and call them as I am not sure what they can offer.
QIMR PO Royal Brisbane Hospital
300 Herston Road
Tel: 61 7 3362 0222
Fax: 61 7 3362 0111
Reference found on http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1517/147125184.108.40.2061?cookieSet=1&&journalCode=ebt
Immunotherapy is Slowly Gaining Ground
In Conventional Cancer Treatment
The outlook for Vicky looked bleak. The malignant melanoma had spread to her lungs and she wasn’t expected to live more than six months.
But Vicky was lucky. She was offered the chance to take part in a major international trial to test the effectiveness of several new drugs.
Just weeks after she started taking the medications, the lump at the base of her neck disappeared, the two to three centimeter lung tumors vanished. Today she is no longer on any medication. She has remained clear of cancer for more than a year.
Oncologists are very enthusiastic about this new form of cancer therapy. . .
It’s called immunotherapy.
In a recent medical journal the authors write, “It is not a question of ‘if’ but for many cancers ‘when’ immunotherapy will be the main treatment modality.”
The idea of utilizing the body’s own immune system to overcome cancer is not new. In fact it goes back to ancient Egyptian times, when swellings and tumors were wrapped in moist salves with open incisions to induce infections at the site. The theory was also put into practice in the 18th and 19th centuries.
But it wasn’t until the late 19th century when someone focused on the idea as an important therapy. His name was William Coley, a New York surgeon. Arguably he’s one of the most important figures in the history of cancer treatment.
Dr. Coley induced severe bacterial infections in cancer patients with the aim of revving up their immune systems to fight the tumor. The infectious agents would generate a fever that cancer cells often could not survive.
Although the records of 894 cases he treated were impressive, Coley’s toxins gradually fell into disuse after his death in 1936.
Cancer is not foreign to the body, or is it?
One of the problems conventional oncologists had with focusing on the immune system was that since it sees the cancer as ‘self’ — not foreign to the body –it won’t attack it. They believed that the inability of the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors was inherent and could not be fixed.
A major breakthrough came about when it was discovered that proteins on the cancer cell’s surface can be differentiated from normal cells. If immune cells could identify these proteins, they could target them.
With this and other discoveries, immunotherapy became a very popular research topic for a time, but it was undermined by repeated failures. For instance, one of three main types of immunotherapy called “nonspecific,” which activates the immune system as a whole, did not meet with great success.
Because it failed to live up to its promise, immunotherapy fell out of favor and there was little interest in researching further.
Then along came Dr James Allison of the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr Allison focused on another main type of immunotherapy that makes use of monoclonal antibodies.
Antibodies defend against substances called antigens that provoke an immune response. Virtually anything can be an antigen. Pollen is a familiar example.
Antibodies are able to latch on to specific proteins on the outside of the invading cell to stop it from functioning, trigger a chemical response to shut it down, or signal other immune cells to kill it.
In the late 1970s Dr Allison identified a receptor on a T cell (an antibody-producing immune cell that is the body’s “first responder” to cancer) that is able to recognize the proteins on a cancer cell. Because of this receptor’s ability to identify cancer cells, it became possible to create single man-made antibodies in the laboratory that can attach to the specific cancer protein.
His next discovery was a support molecule – a co-stimulatory receptor called CD28 – that activates the T cell to actually go on the attack.
Dr Allison had found the ‘on your marks’ and ‘get set’ part of the puzzle but the ‘go’ won’t take place as long as the immune system thinks it is attacking its own body.
It wasn’t until 2005 that Allison made his major groundbreaking discovery.
He found that a surface marker on the T cell called cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is what puts the brakes on, stopping the antigens that would otherwise attack the body’s own tissues. Allison then created an antibody to shut off CTLA-4. His drug, ipilimumab (Yervoy) is the first to do this. T cells now had the ‘go’ which allowed them to attack cancer cells. Since then, another receptor called PD-1 has been found on activated T cells which downregulates the immune system.
Since this is a receptor not just on T cells but also on another aspect of the immune system — B lymphocytes — it makes for a more powerful and widespread attack.
The PD-1 signal-blocking antibody drug called nivolumab (Opdivo) plus Yervoy were combined in a study of 53 late-stage melanoma patients.
One-year survival was 85% and two-year survival was 79%. These are impressive results.
According to Mario Sznol, M.D., lead study author and Professor of Medical Oncology at Yale School of Medicine, “Concurrent therapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab results in what I believe to be an unprecedented 2-year survival.”
Opdivo is FDA-approved for metastatic melanoma and lung cancer. Yervoy is approved for metastatic melanoma only.
Cancer treatment vaccines
The third main type of conventional immunotherapy removes the patient’s white blood cells from the body and loads them with an antigen or a substance derived from the patient’s tumor. These are then injected back into the patient to create a strong and targeted immune response to kill specific proteins on the cancer cell.
The type of immune cell most frequently employed for this purpose is called a dendritic cell. Cells of this type make up less than one percent of white blood cells, but they are able to stimulate other aspects of the immune system. They scan the environment to provide T cells with an early warning system for potential threats.
When the vaccine is given to the patient, the new, loaded dendritic cells make their way to the patient’s lymph nodes. Once that happens, the T cells and other immune cells know exactly what to look for. They can seek out and attack the tumor. For a more complete description of dendritic cell vaccines, see Issue #414.
This is an individualized treatment. Each vaccine is uniquely cultured for each patient. A few alternative cancer clinics have been using dendritic cell vaccines for years, reportedly with some success. They use it in conjunction with other alternative treatments. It’s not a standalone “magic bullet.”
In conventional medicine, the only FDA-approved dendritic-cell drug at this time is Provenge for the prostate. The approved drug extended life in those with metastatic prostate cancer by an average of 4.1 months in the study that led to its approval.
However some have criticized this study and do not believe there is enough evidence to support it.
In the U.K., in February, 2015, the National Health Service was unable to approve its use because it was not considered to be an improvement on existing procedures and was not proven to delay the development of the disease. I would agree that a 4.1-month extension in life is not impressive.
In a recent paper, medical oncologist Gerald Linette, M.D., Ph.D., together with Beatriz Carreno, Ph.D., wrote that “Dendritic cell based anticancer vaccines have yielded disappointing results in a multitude of clinical trials.”
Personalized genetic targeting
In their own research with dendritic cells, Linette and Carreno take immunotherapy one step further. They not only remove and reinfuse dendritic cells, but also target specific gene mutations within the patient’s tumor.
In a small trial with seven stage 4 melanoma patients, six had a positive T cell response, in three the tumor shrunk significantly, one went into complete remission and after five years another had minimal disease.
Dr Linette said, “In principle, we are creating a personalized vaccine based on the patient’s own cancer genome.”
A similar approach is being conducted by researchers led by Carl June, M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. June’s team removed a billion T cells from a patient suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. They gave the cells new genes and then returned them to the patient. Two weeks later there was no trace of the disease. Two pounds of cancer cells had just disappeared. A year later the patient was still in complete remission.
A larger study by the same group included five adults and 25 children with leukemia. It concludes: “The complete remission rate of 90% and sustained remissions of up to 2 years that were seen in this study are encouraging.”
Vicky is melanoma free today, but she was fortunate. She reacted so badly to Opdivo and Yervoy that they were stopped after only a few doses. It was her good fortune that the drugs destroyed the cancer very early into the procedure.
Immunotherapy can come with some serious side effects. The high stimulation of T cells can sometimes cause them to attack the liver, the gut and other body systems.
Dr. Steven Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute articulated a major hurdle: “It’s the search for targets expressed by the cancer and not the normal tissue that represents a major obstacle to progress.”
Although this is one of many challenges to overcome, immunotherapy is an important advance and will be increasingly utilized by conventional oncologists. It could well become the main treatment modality for some cancers, but that is not likely to occur for many years into the future.
Hard to believe that for two issues in a row we’ve had articles about conventional oncology making moves in an alternative direction – but we did. And the treatment covered in our last issue is much more promising than the stumbling moves in immunotherapy I just described. If you missed our article on Novocure, you can scroll down and read it right now.
Natural, side-effect-free treatment
cures “incurable” cancers
The phrase “pick your poison” must have been coined by oncologists. For decades, mainstream oncologists have only been able to offer their patients three treatment options: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, cynically but accurately known as cut, burn, and poison.
While “the big three treatments” have improved somewhat with modern technology, they remain unpleasant, damaging to healthy tissue, doubtfully effective, and risky. They all have a common aim: to kill cancer cells. The only guaranteed result is an abysmally low quality of life during and often after treatment.
But now, after all these years, mainstream medicine may finally be adding a fourth treatment – one that doesn’t make you sick or damage your body. . .
The FDA recently approved a brand new treatment that’s been shown to slow down, reverse and sometimes even cure “death sentence” cancers.
Plus, for the first time in cancer treatment history, FDA has given its approval with a quality of life claim:
This treatment does not cause side effects.
In a moment I’ll introduce you to a patient who was cured while living a happy, normal life – no nausea, no hair loss — and show how this device could become the go-to option in mainstream cancer treatment within a few years.
The root of the problem: Disrupting abnormal cell growth
As you know, cancer is nothing more than abnormal, accelerated cell growth leading to the formation of a tumor. The key to pulling up this lethal weed by the root is to disrupt that uncontrollable cell growth.
The “big three” treatments try to disrupt cell growth by damaging cells with high energy gamma- or x-rays or chemical drugs … causing the cell or its progeny to self-destruct … or by removing cancer cells entirely with surgery.
Dr. Yoram Palti, a specialist in electrophysiology and biophysics, has spent his career developing an elegant and side-effect free alternative: Use low-intensity electrical fields to disrupt cancer cells while they’re dividing … thus preventing tumor progression and, eventually, resulting in total tumor death.
Tumor Treating Fields:
The future of cancer treatment?
To understand his approach, called Tumor Treating Fields, you might first need a quick explanation of cell biology and division …
Healthy cells and cancer cells alike reproduce in a process called mitosis:
• First, the cell’s DNA is replicated and formed into x-shaped chromosomes …
• Proteins called tubulin form tiny tubes that reach out and grab the chromosomes and align them at the equator of the cell for division …
• DNA is then split into two daughter cells and officially divided, each with a full set of DNA.
Here’s the kicker:
The process depends heavily on positive and negative charges.
The dividing cell creates an electric field, with a positive and negative pole. Each of the pieces involved—the tubulin, the chromosomes, and the tubes—are also either positively or negatively charged.
It’s these charges that allow the tubulin to pull the chromosomes apart. (You can think of it like magnetism, although none of the pieces are technically magnetic.)
All of this means there are multiple opportunities to disrupt division electrically—and to trigger cellular “self-destruction.”
It was with this concept in mind that Dr. Palti began exploring electrical fields for cancer treatment in the late 1990s. He discovered Tumor Treating Fields, or TTFs, in a lab he had set up in his basement.
TTFs are low-intensity electric fields that, by alternating charges, essentially ‘freeze’ the electrical fields around dividing cells. They also prevent the cell from creating the tiny tubes … prevent the tubes from dragging the DNA to the cell’s equator and splitting the DNA … and thus, halt cell division entirely.
Dr. Palti and his team found that when they applied TTFs to cancer cells, the cells attempted to divide for several hours, but ultimately failed.
The electrical error in division either triggered immediate self-destruction (called “apoptosis”), or, the cell formed unhealthy daughter cells that could not survive.
After recognizing the potential, Dr. Palti set up a “real” lab space, hired three research employees, and started his company, Novocure.
Novocure has since expanded from the original basement lab to 170 global treatment centers, where practitioners have observed the positive effects of TTFs on at least 20 different types of cancer cells in culture. In each test, the TTFs have shown no negative effect on the normal, healthy cells surrounding them, because the healthy cells aren’t currently dividing.
Novocure has also completed multiple preclinical trials for some of the most common, aggressive, and difficult-to-treat cancers, including breast, cervical, prostate, kidney, liver cancers and melanoma.1
But it’s not just in theory or in petri dishes that TTF works. It works on real patients with difficult cancers, such as recurrent glioblastoma.
Phase III trials show
“death sentence” cancer can be cured
Recurrent glioblastoma (GBM)—the most common type of primary malignant brain cancer—has been practically a death sentence for 10,000 people every year.
Novocure recently ended a Phase III TTF trial on GBM because the treatment was so successful. The FDA allowed all control patients to switch from the chemotherapy drug temozolomide to the combination TTF plus chemo treatment.
Preliminary results of the trial involving 150 GBM patients showed progression-free survival increased an average of three months, overall survival increased by an average of four months, and 43% of patients were still alive after two years of treatment, compared to 29% in the chemo-only arm.
Six patients achieved complete response.2
As you can see by the numbers, it’s not a magic bullet or a miracle cure, but it is more effective than the conventional alternatives.
And better yet, “The TTF group suffered none of the side effects typical of chemotherapy patients,” explained Bill Doyle, managing partner of Novocure. “They had no pain, suffered none of the infections, they had no nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or fatigue that would be expected.”3
This might not sound too impressive, but in the case of a “death sentence” cancer … an additional two years (or more) of high quality living is a significant improvement.
Take Robert Dill-Bundi for instance. He’s a Swiss Olympic gold medalist in cycling and was a recurrent glioblastoma patient. He was given three months to live after “cut-burn-poison” had failed him. He then enrolled in Novocure’s phase III glioblastoma trial.
In just 12 months his tumor had all but disappeared … with no side effects or interference to his normal life.
Count Mr. Dill-Bundi as a fan. “My quality of life, I rate what I have today a bit different than what most people would assume. I am the happiest, the happiest person in the world. And every single morning I appreciate life. Every night I fall asleep very well, and I am the happiest man in the world.”3
Cancer treatment at home
On top of it all, with Novocure’s “Optune” delivery system, patients are not confined to a hospital room. They’re able to maintain completely normal, happy lives.
Optune uses an array of electrical field transducers that are stuck directly to the skin surrounding the tumor … like a big, cancer-fighting Band-Aid.
The device creates the alternating field within the tumor that attracts and repels the charged components of the cells during division.
It doesn’t heat tissue … it doesn’t stimulate nerves or muscle … and there is no sensation (or invasion) whatsoever.4
Optune is designed to be worn continuously, night and day. Patients can carry the battery and field generators in a backpack while carrying out a normal life.
It is a completely non-invasive, side-effect free cancer treatment that allows patients to live their normal lives—and I daresay it’s exactly what the world needs.
The future of TTF
TTF has been commercially available in eight European countries since 2014.
On May 11, 2015, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network officially recommended Tumor Treating Fields for patients whose glioblastoma is recurrent or progressing after initial treatment.
185 leading cancer centers in the US now offer Optune for the treatment of glioblastoma.5
Novocure is currently recruiting patients for TTF clinical trials on pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, and brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer. See the references section below for links to more information. If you’re a patient, you might try to get into one of these trials.The American clinical trials are required to combine TTF with chemo.
I would like to see how it works with nontoxic, alternative treatments like laetrile and mistletoe extract, to name only two. But that will probably have to wait till the procedure is approved for all doctors. At that point, naturopaths and integrative M.D.’s will be able to have a go – assuming Novocure will make its technology generally available.
Meanwhile, I hope Novocure’s cancer centers will treat other types of cancer “off-label” rather than wait for the results of these trials. There’s no reason why not, considering the treatment is harmless.
You can bet that Cancer Defeated will monitor the progress of this exciting new treatment and keep you up to date.
TTF resembles an alternative treatment – is there something fishy?
There’s another angle here I haven’t mentioned. TTF sounds to me very much like an electrical treatment usually called galvanotherapy that’s been around for years — although I can’t say it’s widely used by alternative doctors. The most extensive trials have been in China.
We described it in our first book, Natural Cancer Remedies that Work, published nearly ten years ago. It relies on a weak electric current to disrupt and kill cancer cells.
The two treatments appear to operate on the same general principles although, unlike TTF, I haven’t see descriptions of how galvanotherapy works at the cellular level. (This doesn’t mean no one has researched the matter; it just means I haven’t seen the studies).
I don’t know what, if anything, Dr. Palti and his colleagues owe to the alternative medicine pioneers. If they were influenced they would do the world a favor by acknowledging the debt.