Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is a type of cancer treatment designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. Immunotherapy for cancer is based on the principle that the host’s immune system is capable of generating immune responses against tumor specific antigens.
This comprehensive strategy was pioneered in Germany by renowned cancer specialist, Josef M. Issels, M.D., at the world’s first specialized hospital with 120 beds solely dedicated to the treatment of advanced and standard therapy-resistant cancers. An exceptional number of stage 4 cancer patients achieved complete long-term tumor remission and remained cancer free for many years, and even decades.
A vaccine is another method used to help the body fight disease. A vaccine exposes the immune system to an antigen. This triggers the immune system to recognize and destroy that protein or related materials.
Most of us know about vaccines given to healthy people to help prevent infections, such as measles and chicken pox. These vaccines use weakened or killed germs like viruses or bacteria to start an immune response in the body. Getting the immune system ready to defend against these germs helps keep people from getting infections.
Most cancer vaccines work the same way, but they make the person’s immune system attack cancer cells. The goal is to help treat cancer or to help prevent it from coming back after other treatments. But there are some vaccines that may actually help prevent certain cancers.
Every cancer patient has his/her individual cancer due to inherited genetic predisposition and very different causes and conditions, such as lifestyle, environment, infections, and other influences. Therefore, this type of treatment protocols is highly personalized through very special testing methods – including genomic – to meet patients’ individual needs.