Category Archives: Cancer Treatments
Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy is a form of cancer immunotherapy which seeks to sharpen and strengthen the immune system’s inherent cancer-fighting powers.
CAR T-Cell Therapy was approved in August 2017 ~ the first time that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CAR T-cell therapy for a form of cancer ~ for the treatment of paediatric and young adult patients with B-cell ALL that has relapsed or hasn’t responded to previous treatments.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) is a type of leukaemia in which a group of white blood cells, called lymphocytes, are affected. Leukaemia is the most common form of cancer in children, and about 80% of children with leukaemia have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
CAR T-Cell Therapy involves treating patients with modified versions of their own immune system T cells – white blood cells that help protect the body from disease.
Lewis Silverman, MD, Clinical Director of the Hematologic Malignancy Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, said:
“It’s a very exciting development in our ability to treat childhood ALL. It offers hope to those that we haven’t been able to treat with conventional therapy. This is a hugely exciting time in childhood leukaemia research”
There’s something magical about making a wish while blowing dandelion petals through the air. Just one glance at a dandelion brings back childhood memories. And while some consider them pesky weeds, dandelion offers a treasure trove of healing benefits.
Dandelion greens are used in so many health applications today. Whether steamed, sautéed, used in soup, or boiled with water and brown sugar for tea, the greens of these weeds are considered an herbal medicine.
The extract (from dandelion root) is purported to work by inducing apoptosis in the cancer cells. To put this another way, this process forces the cancer cells to commit suicide without damaging the healthy cells in any way.
Dandelion Root is frequently used by herbalists to treat liver, kidney, and gallbladder problems. Dandelion Root has been used in China for certain kinds of cancers for centuries. Dandelion is a source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals (including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline).
There are hundreds of ways to heal cancer and enzyme therapy is seen to be a very effective treatment.
The idea of healing cancer with enzymes was first discovered by Dr John Beard, an embryologist who spent 20 years researching cancer.
He found that pancreatic enzymes were not present in the blood of cancer patients. Although his first article was published in 1902, his theory about cancer still holds up to rigorous scientific scrutiny.
Dr John Beard proposed in 1906 that pancreatic proteolytic digestive enzymes represent the body’s main defence against cancer, and that enzyme therapy would be useful as a treatment for all types of cancer.
During the first two decades of the twentieth century, Dr Beard’s thesis attracted some attention in academic circles, and several case reports in the medical literature documented tumour regression and even remission in terminal cancer patients treated with proteolytic enzymes.
In 1911, Dr Beard published a monograph entitled The Enzyme Therapy of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis, which summarised his therapy and the supporting evidence.
After Dr Beard’s death in 1923, the enzyme therapy was largely forgotten. Periodically, other practitioners have rediscovered Dr Beard’s work, and used pancreatic proteolytic enzymes as an alternative cancer treatment.
Hippocrates is credited with saying “Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine”.
Dr. Johanna Budwig, however, is known for implementing this belief and making it a reality in her medical practices.
Dr. Johanna Budwig had a doctorate in physics and PhD in natural science, and was also a chemist and qualified pharmacologist. In the 1950’s, she was the chief expert consultant for drugs and fats at the Bundesanstalt fur Fettforschung, or Federal Institute for Fats Research, in Germany.
Budwig began analysing the blood of thousands of cancer patients, and found two striking common themes throughout the samples she took. The first was that almost all very ill cancer patients were extremely deficient in phosphatides and lipoproteins (two types of fat molecules produced in the body that are essential for NORMAL cell division).
She also noticed that whereas a healthy person’s blood would contain red, oxygen-carrying haemoglobin, in its place the cancer patients’ blood contained a “greenish-yellow substance.”
The use of magnets as a medical device goes back centuries, maybe even to the ancient Aztecs of Central America.
In the 14th century, Paracelsus, a physician and alchemist, claimed that steel magnets could attract diseases out of the body, and help draw them to the surface where they could be removed.
The Ancient Greeks discovered lodestone which is considered by many to be the very first natural magnet. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, discussed the use of magnets in his healing protocols.
An American who became interested in magnetic healing, Daniel David Palmer, opened Palmer’s School of Magnetic Cure in Iowa in the 1890s. His ideas developed into the system of hands-on therapy known today as chiropractic.
While Magnets are used in complex medical imaging procedures – such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields to formulate 3-D images of the brain and electroencephalographs (EEG), which look at the electrical activity of the brain – to better understand the body, and magnets are used as a healing therapy throughout many areas of Europe and Asia, the therapy has not been accepted by the traditional medical community in many countries.
Up until now, drug companies have been free to decide whether to pursue treatments for paediatric cancers as part of their work on adult cancers or not, and this has led to a minimal amount of new drugs specifically for paediatric cancers being developed.
An estimated 2,000 children die of cancer annually, and the overall incidence of childhood cancer has been slowly increasing since 1975 – there has been a 13% rise in Childhood Cancer in the past 20 years alone.
Despite significant advances against certain pediatric cancers, including Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, there are still some types of cancer for which there are few or no effective treatments.
The truth is that new drug development in pediatric cancer is extremely slow, often lagging way behind adult treatments, and few compounds are designed specifically for children.
The sad truth is that Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year, and that is is not much of a market for drug makers, who rack up an estimated $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs while bringing a novel drug to market.
They won’t have much choice going forward!!
Herbs and plants were the original treatments for many illnesses and injuries people faced. As such, cannabis or marijuana use dates back centuries. It popped up in Western medicine in the 19th century as a means of relieving pain, inflammation, and spasms.
Today, marijuana use can spark some serious debate, even when considered for medical use only. But regardless of how you feel about its use, more cancer patients are turning to marijuana for a number of reasons.
Marijuana is not legal for use everywhere and researchers have their own concerns about potential side effects. For some patients, however, the benefits can be invaluable as they go through treatment.
Some individuals being treated for certain cancers may undergo a Stem Cell Transplant along with Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy. In Stem Cell Transplantation, healthy stem cells are taken either from themselves or a donor.
An allogeneic transplant is a procedure which involves using blood-forming stem cells (cells from which all blood cells develop) from a genetically similar, but not identical, cancer-free donor who matches the recipient’s tissue type. Most commonly, donors are a close relative, such as a sibling, but could also be an unrelated donor.
Using a donor for stem cell transplants offers what is called a graft-versus-cancer effect, in which the donor’s stem cells (graft) may attack any cancer cells found in the recipient (host).
Unfortunately, however, a stem cell transplant can also cause a condition called graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD).
GVHD is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in which the donor cells attack the recipient’s healthy cells, causing a range of medical problems.
These days, walking into any major cancer centre looks rather different to a few years ago, because you are likely to see not only ordinary examination rooms, equipment, and chemotherapy suites, but also massage rooms, yoga mats, and possibly even a music therapy room.
This is the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. More and more recent research now supports complementary treatments such as Acupuncture, Yoga, and some diet supplements as good ways to relieve some of the side-effects of Chemotherapy Treatments.
Treatment centres that offer complementary options, as well as the amount of individuals taking advantage of them, have increased dramatically across the globe in recent years, with some studies showing that around 50% of all people undergoing cancer treatment use some kind of complementary option.
Most of the complementary treatments recommended by medical doctors have few or no side-effects, according to the director of medical content at the American Cancer Society, Ted Gansler, MD, who states that it is fine to try Music Therapy or Meditation, for example, while you follow your standard treatment plan.
When Children with Cancer have to undergo Radiation Treatment, they often get scared or nervous because they do not have an understanding of the process and the machines involved.
To remedy this, young children are usually given a general anaesthetic, even though the long-term side effects are still unknown.
Instead of relying on anaesthesia, Danielle Crump, BSN, RN, worked to develop the Paediatric Training Program within the Radiation Department of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
This initiative saves time and money while avoiding any risks or complications that might come from administering anaesthesia to a paediatric patient.