Cancer immunotherapy: how the new immunotherapies fight cancer

The human immune system is an amazing invention. You can imagine it as a perfectly organized network of defense stations, organs, cells and messenger substances. A sophisticated military defense plan, which no politician could think of, against enemy attacks from outside. The individual components of the system work together perfectly - when people are healthy. Then they protect the body from pathogens that continuously patter on the body from the outside. They accompany us through life like an invisible protective cover.


Our immune system is based on the ability to differentiate between foreign and endogenous cells. These defense mechanisms against dangerous and diseased cells fail in phases of in phases of serious illness - especially while suffering from cancer. The immune system is suddenly blind and the body's own elimination system can no longer differentiate between degenerate, sick, unusable and healthy cells.


The tumor tissue comes from cells in the body, which is why it is so difficult for the immune system to identify the tumor as evil. This becomes all the more difficult since the cancer cells also try to escape destruction by the immune system in a targeted and skillful manner. They camouflage themselfes.


To be recognizable, cancer cells must have features on their cell surface (tumor-associated antigens). However, many types of tumors have developed strategies to disguise their malignant identity, for example by making the antigens appear as the body's own.


This is where new products and processes for immunotherapy of cancer and serious infectious diseases come into play: immunotherapy.


In this very promising new approach, so-called immune checkpoint inhibitors are activated to act actively against the camouflage of the cancer cells and thus stimulate the body's immune system to eliminate the affected tissue.


These so-called checkpoints are comparable to control stations of the immune system that are located on certain immune cells. They are supposed to control the strength of the defense: they act like a brake. Cancer cells cleverly take advantage of this. This is where the checkpoint inhibitors come in. The blockage, the brake on which the cancer cells rely, is released by the new therapies, the immune system can "see" again and immediately starts to destroy the cancer cells. This therapy is not intended to attack the cancer cells themselves, but the checkpoint's immune response.


Another benefit of this immunotherapy: while conventional radiation and chemotherapy destroy all healthy tissue and cells, immune cells generally put less strain on healthy cells. We have to imagine therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors as a strong activation of the immune system. There therapy has hardly any side effects – contrary to classic radiation and chemotherapy. Sometimes rashes or mild inflammation rarely occur.


New studies show how successfully the immune system fights cancer cells once the right gear levers have been set in motion. Tumors shrink, life expectancy of patients with hopeless prognoses is growing. And: the quality of life of these patients also improves.


Mistletoe therapy works like an immune booster


This is where mistletoe therapy comes in. At the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover, for over 30 years we performe with great success while treating a wide variety of cancers with mistletoe preparations. Mistletoe therapy was introduced into tumor therapy in the anthroposophic medicine 100 years ago. One can therefore build on very long experience in the treatment of tumor patients with traditional anthroposophic preparations. They are now considered to be the best investigated agent in the field of complementary cancer medicine.


Mistletoe therapy can dramatically improve the quality of life


Studies have shown that certain ingredients in mistletoe preparations actively work against certain tumors. In addition, mistletoe preparations have a favorable effect on the immune factors. It has been shown that mistletoe therapy can dramatically improve the quality of life.


Immunotherapy with the support of mistletoe preparations stimulates the immune system to fight the tumor and it strengthens the body's system so that after some time and in the best way it is able to differentiate the malignant cells from healthy ones. Cancer cells lose an important survival strategy and tumor growth can be curbed.