Each case of cancer is unique and requires a complex analysis and a treatment plan tailored to the patient. That is why we plan the IOZK-Immunotherapy for each patient individually and produce a personalized treatment plan. The IOZK-Immunotherapy mobilizes the body’s own immune response, thus enabling it to take up the fight against the tumor growth itself.
Personalized Medicine – the Right Therapy for Each Patient
Immuno-oncological therapies have revolutionized tumor treatment and have established themselves next to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
At the IOZK, we offer the ideal conditions for an optimal immunotherapy. We combine different aspects that promise the best chance of success: a team of experts consisting of medical doctors and scientists, as well as a treatment developed by us that is tailored to, and produced for, each individual patient – the IOZK-Immunotherapy.
Our treatment is based on a personalized vaccine that activates the body’s immune system to take up the fight against the tumor. It is based on a comprehensive analysis of the immune system though our laboratory. On the basis of those results, our team of doctors decides on the treatment method and
monitoring best suited to the patient.
When deciding on a treatment plan, we take all currently available methods of treating cancer into consideration: from our immunological treatment to the classic chemotherapy. As a result, each patient receives a personalized therapy tailored to their needs.
The IOZK-Immunotherapy consists of different treatment modalities, such as virotherapy, hyperthermia, vaccination, and therapy with checkpoint inhibitors. With this multi-modal form of therapy, all types of solid tumors can be treated, for example, brain tumors, breast, colorectal, lung, skin, or prostate cancer.
Targeted Against the Tumour – Without Major Side Effects
The personalized IOZK-Immunotherapy targets the tumor of the patient without destroying the healthy cells. With aid of the vaccine IO-VAC®, the immune system recognizes the tumor cells and starts attacking them. As this method is based on the body’s own immune response and only destroys tumor cells, it is free of any serious side effects.
The first treatment usually takes 5 weeks. Generally, the IOZK Immunotherapy can be started at any time after diagnosis. However, the optimal time point for treatment is as close as possible to the complete removal of the tumor. Contact should be established with the IOZK prior to the operation so that the patient’s own tumor material can be used for preparing the immunotherapy.
The IOZK team constantly monitors the patient and their immune system. Depending on the condition of the patient and the course of treatment, further immunological treatments, and possibly additional therapies, are administered.
Several studies have shown that immunotherapies are effective across many indications, i.e., against many different types of tumor, and are generally well-tolerated.
Dr. Wilfried Stücker
A Comprehensive Combination
The personalized IOZK Immunotherapy specifically targets the tumor without destroying healthy cells. We achieve this through combining various treatment modalities.
The basis for, and most important component of, our IOZK Immunotherapy is the patient-specific vaccine IO-VAC® developed by our laboratory. Explained simply, we combine an oncolytic virus and the patient’s tumor material with dendritic cells in our laboratory to produce the personalized vaccine IO-VAC®. This vaccine then activates the patient’s immune system to fight the tumor. The IOZK is the only institution in Europe that has received the regulatory approval to produce such a vaccine.
Virotherapy is an integral component of the IOZK Immunotherapy. Oncolytic viruses, such as the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), are viruses that attack tumor cells and destroy them. When the virus replicates in tumor cells, the immune system is alerted and notices the tumor cells. Through the virus infection, the tumor cells become classified as dangerous and are attacked.
Modulated electrohyperthermia causes an elevated temperature in, and a stimulation of, tumor cells through electromagnetic waves, without affecting the healthy tissue. Through this, the tumor cells produce certain danger signals on their surface that provoke and intensify an immune reaction. In moderatewhole body hyperthermia, a fever-like increase in the core body temperature is generated through infrared light. This passive temperature elevation stimulates the immune cells that are responsible for fighting the tumor.
Therapy with Checkpoint Inhibitors
Checkpoints are the control mechanisms by which the immune system is regulated against over-activation. Tumors “misuse” the immunological controls, also known as checkpoints, to deactivate the immune response targeted against them. This is where checkpoint inhibitors come into play: they inhibit the blocked signaling pathways. In a sense, they release the brakes on the immune cells and thus enable the immune system to fight the tumor again. The PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors, however, are only effective when an immune response against the tumor already exists.
Modulation of the Tumor Microenvironment
The microenvironment of the tumor refers to the structure of connective tissue into which the tumor is embedded. There exists a direct interaction between this tissue and the tumor cells, and thus it has an influence on tumor cell growth and effectiveness of the immunotherapy. Hence the IOZK Immunotherapy considers and modulates the tumor microenvironment.
Optimization of Micronutrients and Vitamins
In order to operate optimally, the immune system needs to be supplied with sufficient micronutrients and vitamins. If required, we administer these specifically in order to optimize the immune response.