Jun 24, 2013 - 12:03 am
Hello, I read this forum since long time ago and I've learnt a lot from you all... I follow your struggles, rejoyce with the good news and I have cried many times with the departures of dearly loved members of this board. I've posted this in other board, where I used to post -I thought someone else would post it here but, since it's not happening, here I go. I think it could be helpful to some. Immunotherapies may be not the mainstream cancer treatament yet, but certainly they are 'here' and they are not totally un-accesible.
This is a Cancer Trial Finder for Immunotherapies only (http://www.cancerresearch.org/cancer-immunotherapy/clinical-trial-finder) put together by the Cancer Research Institute . They say you fill that form and they email you back with suggested trials, meaning that you can 'talk' with someone about options.
(Just for you to know some background: the Cancer Research Institute was founded in 1953 by Helen Coley Nauts to continue the work begun by her father, Dr. William B. Coley, who pioneered immune-based treatments for cancer, and is considered the “father of cancer immunotherapy”. One of the finest cancer immunologists of the world, Lloyd J. Old, was part of the CRI during 20 years, until his death in 2011. The Scientific Advisory Council is formed by, basically, the top immunologists at the MD Anderson, Sloan-Kettering, Dana Farber, Fred Hutchinson, Johns Hopkins, etc.))
The Cancer Research Institute site has a lot of interesting information. For example, there is a free ebook, Cancer and the Immune System: The Vital Connection to download, and also a Helpbook For Patients.
The bottom part of this image is a quite illustrative infographic about the functioning of the immune system (larger here; click to enlarge, and then scroll down)
You can also ask for some guide at firstname.lastname@example.org and call them at (800) 99-CANCER (800-992-2623)
Information on what to consider about enrolling in immunotherapy clinical trials, including how immunotherapy trials may be different from trials of other types of treatment, what to look for, common exclusion criteria, and additional questions to ask: http://cancerresearch.org/cancer-immunotherapy/about-clinical-trials/should-you-participate
Colorectal cancer immunotherapy page for general information about immunotherapy and colorectal cancer: http://cancerresearch.org/cancer-immunotherapy/impacting-all-cancers/colorectal-cancer
Some 'tips' from them, about how to evaluate an immunotherapy clinical trial:
"What Should I Look For?
The following are some of CRI's recommendations for when evaluating clinical trials of investigational cancer immunotherapies. For help on interpreting information found in clinical trial records, go to http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/help/how-read-study.
● Although you are guaranteed to receive experimental treatment in phase I trials, the agents being tested in these trials have not been fully evaluated for safety and you may not receive the optimal dose. In randomized, later-phase (phase II and III) trials, the safety of the treatment has been established and it may have shown signs of clinical efficacy. In randomized trials, however, you are not guaranteed to receive the treatment under investigation.
● CRI believes that immunotherapies that combine different agents that target or modulate different mechanisms of the immune system represent the most promising treatments currently in development. Therefore, we recommend clinical trials of combination regimens involving multiple immunotherapies or an immunotherapy with another kind of treatment, such as chemotherapy, that may enhance the anti-cancer effect of the immunotherapy. One exception to this recommendation is in the case of checkpoint blockade or similar immune modulating therapies. These have shown promising and sometimes dramatic results as monotherapies in a subset of patients. Moreover, many of these are very new in development and may not be available in combination regimens.
● Vaccines that use short peptides of antigens have historically shown poor results. If you can determine the form of the antigen used, CRI recommends trials of therapeutic vaccines that use protein or long peptides, the latter of which may be preferable over the former, although additional studies are warranted. "
And sorry about any English mistakes -it's not my own language : )