Legitimate Data and Research is Required for Treatment Approval

For cancer patients who have little success with traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, immunotherapy treatments are becoming known alternatives – working with the body’s own immune system to become stronger and better able to fight cancer cells and other infections. A mesothelioma diagnosis is often grim, with survival rates at approximately one year at diagnosis. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but scientists and researchers have been continually testing for new treatments that will increase survival and lessen symptoms.

Some treatments, like Immuno- Augmentation Therapy (IAT) remain controversial despite reports of patients calming to be cured and hailing its effectiveness. The idea behind IAT is similar to immunotherapy, in which the body’s own immune system is somehow strengthened so it is healthy enough to fight off infections and cancer. However, IAT is not approved in the United States for number of reasons, and if one would want to receive this treatment, he or she would have to go to the clinic located in the Bahamas.

Zoologist Lawrence Burton developed IAT and claimed that through his patented process of injecting blood serum proteins directly, the proteins would then boost the immune system and fight off the cancer. His methods were questioned, and because accurate statistics were not provided, clinical reports not published, and control methods were not conducted, the FDA did not approve IAT as an appropriate and effective method of treatment.

Furthermore, an investigation into Burton’s claims in the 1980s concluded that Burton’s proposed “tumor complement,” “tumor antibody,” “deblocking protein,” and “blocking proteins” have never been found in human blood, so they could not possibly be tied to the immune system. Other investigations involved visits to Burton’s clinic in the early 1990s, where it was found that the patients being treated with IAT either showed no signs of cancer in the first place, or had received traditionally cancer treatments prior to receiving IAT. Cases where cancer patients did survive longer than expected were found to be meaningless because the stage and grade of the tumor were not provided. Without such information, researchers found it impossible to determine IAT’s effectiveness and they were unable to compare patients who had similar cancers.

Instances where patients have received IAT and have shown positive results have been heard of, but without definitive scientific evidence to back up claims, the treatment cannot be recommended as its safety is questionable.

 

Immunotherapy Treatments With Known Results

However, there have been some breakthrough immunotherapy treatments for those suffering from mesothelioma and lung cancer that have been approved by the FDA.  Opdivo, Keytruda, and Yervoy are all immunotherapy treatments that have shown positive results in clinical trials when it comes to reducing cancer cells and improving overall survival. These check point inhibitors are designed to stop immune cells from attacking the normal, or good cells in the body, as these cells are needed to fight infection. When administered, these immunotherapy treatments bind to the immune cells that are being attached resulting in the immune system not being compromised.

 

Read more about Opdivo and Yervoy

Read more about Keytruda success

 

Source

Stephan Barrett, M.D. “Immuno-Augmentative Therapy (IAT) (November 9, 1999). [Link]

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Last update: March 06, 2014. 08:41:31 pm.