Good news on cancer: There is a definite change in the wind! The face of oncology is changing. Both cancer patients and oncologists are undergoing a cancer metamorphosis. Treatments are moving – albeit slowly from a killing cancer focus to a focus on retraining the body’s own immune system to seek and destroy cancer cells.
Last week on Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio Prof Brendon Coventry spoke about cancer vaccines and in particular about his success treating advanced melanoma.
He also spoke about the importance of measuring a patient’s immune cycle as a new approach to that value-adds to the “New Wave” of immunotherapy treatments against cancer.
Click here to listen to that interview if you missed it – (live streaming or download on itunes to listen later at no cost).
Questions from cancer patients clearly demonstrate a thirst for knowledge about immune therapies.
Therefore – today – I have replayed my interview from mid last year(2014) with Cancer Research Institute’s CEO Jill O’Donnell-Tormey PhD. Click Jill’s name to be redirected to the interview on Voice America internet radio. In this interview Jill provided a clear picture of where immune therapies are headed and what they actually do and where you can find trials and treatments.
Jill talks about the new immunotherapy pharmaceuticals – an innovative class of drugs that block PD-1. (Stands for programmed cell death protein 1). PD-1 inhibitors, activate the immune system to attack tumors and are therefore used to treat cancer. These drugs have complex names such as nivolumab successfully used in non-small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, and renal-cell cancer; Pembrolizumab; intended for use in treating metastatic melanoma; to name but a few. Then there are CTLA-4 antibodies such as Ipilimumab; a fully human, monoclonal antibody that overcomes CTLA-4–mediated T-cell suppression to enhance the immune response against tumors.
Anti-PD-1 and Anti-PD-L1 Antibodies – Unlike CTLA-4 antibodies, the PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies aim to potentiate the antitumor T-cell response at a tumor-specific level, by impairing the interaction of the inhibitory receptor PD-1 on T cells with PD-L1 expressed on tumor cells
Cancer patients as well as doctors and oncologists are having to learn a new language and a new way of thinking about cancer. The process is slow – but the most important people in cancer medicine – patients; need to know the basics and what to ask of their oncologists because these new immune drugs, cancer vaccines and immune timing of treatments, appears to hold the key to curing cancers.
As I see it – the only caution right now is that patients may be rushing to overseas alternative clinics who promote the new elaborate cocktails of immune therapies. Skill and experience is required in using these new immune treatments- best to ask an expert.
Now – back to Prof Coventry and Martin Ashdown’s work for some additional information….
There are many studies that demonstrate that conclusions made by Prof Brendon Coventry and Martin Ashdown that propose that our immune system has a rhythm that can be measured especially when a patient has advancing cancer.
It is known that Cytokines (cell signalling molecules that aid cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma), are crucial mediators for shaping immune responses. Cytokines are important regulators of both the innate and adaptive immune response.
The following from the Journal of Immunology Research 2014 – states that Several parameters of the immune system exhibit oscillations with a period of approximately 24 hours that refers to “circadian rhythms.” Such daily variations in host immune system status might evolve to maximize immune reactions at times when encounters with pathogens are most likely to occur. However, the mechanisms behind circadian immunity have not been fully understood. Recent studies reveal that the internal time keeping system “circadian clock” plays a key role in driving the daily rhythms evident in the immune system. Importantly, several studies unveil molecular mechanisms of how certain clock proteins (e.g., BMAL1 and CLOCK) temporally regulate expression of cytokines. Since cytokines are crucial mediators for shaping immune responses, this review mainly summarizes the new knowledge that highlights an emerging role of the circadian clock as a novel regulator of cytokines. Continue reading “Review Article
Temporal Regulation of Cytokines by the Circadian Clock” at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/614529/
Research such as the above; should encourage us to support the important work on immune synchronization and timing of cancer treatments recently pioneered by Prof Brendon Coventry (and Martin Ashdown) as featured on my internet radio show: Navigating the Cancer Maze 23 January 2015; please see interviews and links below.
Professor Coventry’s first interview listed on the Science show with Robin Williams was broadcast : Saturday 17 April 2010 !! At last there is an intervention that can positively impact outcomes of treatments and that is relatively non invasive (apart from a series of blood tests over a 2 week period).
The information graphed from results can tell you when your window of opportunity for optimum response from your cancer treatments will be. It is my hope that patients will take the time to read and understand the research on both the immune system and immune synchronization of cancer treatments and its exciting implications and begin to ask for their immune systems rhythm to be measured and evaluated.
Prof Brendon Coventry says immune system rhythm, may be a fundamental discovery. Implications are better health and reduced costs for the health system. A survey showed that tumours disappear completely in just 7% of patients when treated with chemotherapy. Did the time of administering chemotherapy have an effect? Daily blood measurements show fluctuation in inflammatory markers in the blood. A cycle emerged. It’s now thought the immune system is being regulated, being switched on and off against the tumour. The periodicity is roughly 7 days. This matters, as hitting the immune system with chemicals when it isn’t receptive might be ineffective.
For more information visit the following URLs
- April 18th 2010 – Australian Broadcasting Commission – Radio National Science Show interview with Robin Williams “Rhythms in the Immune System”
- Friday, February 14, 2014 Australian Broadcasting Commission – National – The World Today “Melanoma find increases survival rate”. Prof Brendon Coventry interview with reporter Caroline Winter http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/audio/twt/201402/20140214-twt10-melanomafind.mp3
- April 17th 2014 Australian Broadcasting Commission – National – AM Program “Melanoma vaccine increases survival rate” http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/audio/am/201404/20140417-eam03-melanomavaccine.mp3
Immune System pulsing – Timing of Treatment
Martin Ashdown Window of Opportunity1
Be a particicipant in the medicines and approaches that could save your life!
until next time…..