Battling Cancers with a Well-Functioning Immune System

CANCER by definition arises from an insufficiently active immune system. If the immune system is functioning normally, it will protect us from getting most cancers, regardless of what the stresses are. Linchitz Medical Wellness offers immune supportive therapies for people who are battling cancer. Supporting the immune system can make the critical difference in the clinical outcome of therapy. Studies show that for many types of cancer, when you carefully combine chemotherapy with immunotherapy that the long term outcomes are significantly improved.   
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Immunotherapy is quite often a vital part of Cancer treatment. The immune system is one of our primary and most critical systems and amongst other things, helps to regulate our internal environment. It exerts its control by circulating components capable of acting at sites far removed from their points of origin.
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Our patients undergo a personalized treatment regimen that may include: specialized blood testing, a comprehensive nutrition program, intradermal skin testing, psychological counseling, nutritional support and supplementation and a host of immunotherapy options.
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For patients who are already in remission, supporting the immune system can improve the length of remission. Research shows that patients with cancer has the potential to control cancer that is associated with improved outcomes from several tumor types.
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Onco-Immunology, An Overview

The immune response to cancer involves both the T and B cell mediated compartments of the adaptive arm of the immune system. The integrity of the adaptive immune system is based on the ability of lymphocytes to re-circulate between the blood, somatic tissues and lymphoid tissues, recognize the collected antigens and respond against them. Onco-immunology is the science of reactivating an immune response to recognize abnormal cancer antigens, destroy them and remember what it did. The response can be separated into several distinct phases. Failure at any point in the immune cascade results in the cancer cells escaping detection and destruction. A failure to recognize or destroy is called anergy.
1) The induction phase occurs principally in the lymphoid tissues. Antigen either finds it own way to lymphoid tissues (eg antigen in the circulation passing through the spleen) or it is transported to lymphoid tissues by migratory dendritic cells. The dendritic cells are an important part of the process of recognizing the abnormal cancer molecules and cells. Other cells involved in the process of recognition are certain B-cells and activated macrophages, which you can imagine as little "Pac-men" eating that which it identifies as abnormal and sending out information signals (cytokines) to rally other components of the immune system to join in the fight. Failure to recognize these abnormal molecules and cells is the first area of anergy that can be addressed through the therapeutic practices of onco-immunology.

2) Following activation of antigen-specific lymphocytes in the lymphoid tissues, these cells undergo a process of clonal expansion (they multiply to increase the number of troops) and differentiation. Some of these cells become activated effector lymphocytes, cells that do the work. They include the "brains" of the immune system, the helper T-cells the destroying angels of the immune system, the cytotoxic T cells, and antibody-secreting (plasma) B-cells. Some of these specialized cells remain in a semi-activated state and re-circulate through our body as memory cells. Memory cells have the job of remembering what the immune system did so that if those abnormal molecules or cells reappear they can quickly re-activate, sound the alarm and trigger a much faster and more effective immune response. Failure of clonal expansion and cell differentiation is the second area of anergy that can be identified and addressed through the therapeutic practices of onco-immunology, once recognized through specialized blood tests.

3) The final phase of activation of the immune response involves the activated effector cells themselves. The different effector cells, whose roles include the production of antibody by plasma cells, the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and the induction of macrophage activation must work together to destroy the cancer cells. Failure of a co-ordinated immune response results in immune tolerance and the escape by cancer cells, freeing them to proliferate into tumors. Ultimately, it is left to the non-specific ("Pac-men") phagocytic cells to clean up the mess, and the macrophages and fibroblasts to repair damage and promote healing. Thus, in order to work effectively in response to cancer, the different components and cells of the immune system must act cooperatively to eliminate the threat. Sophisticated laboratory blood tests can identify areas of anergy that can be addressed through the therapeutic practices of onco-immunology. The speed with which immune damage can be repaired and the effector cells re-educated becomes the limiting factor. Other practices of onco-immunology include the use of special monoclonal antibodies to attack and target cancer cells, acting like a beacon for the rest of the immune system, upon which to focus their response.
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