Advantages of Intratumoral Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment

Intratumoral immunotherapy is a revolutionary cancer treatment that makes use of sophisticated antibodies, which are directly injected into the cancer tumors, instead of intravenously.

This new cancer treatment immunotherapy can dramatically improve a cancer patient’s response rate, along with many other advantages.


Tumor against itself

The word itself, intratumoral, means within a tumor. Experts think that the best way to cure cancer is to use what’s already in the patient’s body, which means using cancer against itself. 

A cancer patient’s immune system may target cancer cells and kill them before they overrun the body. However, the immune system sometimes needs a little nudge and this is where intratumoral immunotherapy could help. 

According to experts, intratumoral immunotherapy optimizes cancer cells to work like a vaccine. It also inhibits the growth of the tumor as the tumor cells are injected with antibodies.

This process allows the patient to have cancer treatments with few side effects, unlike other methods. This also cuts the cost of expensive cancer treatments, while giving patients higher chances of survival and longer life.


How Does Intratumoral Immunotherapy Work? 

After the ablation of the tumor deposits either by heating or freezing, any non-viable cells that remain in the patient’s body may be used to stimulate the immune system with intratumoral immunotherapy. Doctors will use an -OX40 agonist combined with other types of cancer medication or vaccine — such as CpG, ipilimumab, and ketorolac — for the therapy, as in the case of stage 4 breast cancer patient with two liver metastases. 

In this case, following the therapy, a CT scan was performed on the patient six weeks after the procedure, and a positron emission tomography (PET) scan with a CT scan was also done 12 weeks after the therapy. The results showed that the cancer tumors were no longer found in the body, and the liver metastases had rescinded. 


Can Intratumoral Immunotherapy Work With Other Therapies?

Patients who are undergoing intravenous immunotherapy may consider intratumoral immunotherapy to enhance their treatments or add this to their radiation treatments or chemotherapy. According to experts, combination treatments are actually helpful, cost-effective, and safer for cancer patients since the therapy is more targeted. Furthermore, the effects of immunotherapy and ablation, when combined, are synergistic.

Cancer treatments, in general, open different challenges both in the clinical and economic sense. Some patients also respond better to specific therapies than other patients. We strongly encourage patients to discuss their options thoroughly with our doctors at Williams Cancer Institute before proceeding with the treatments.

Learn more about intratumoral immunotherapy at Williams Cancer Institute

Dr. Jason Williams’ approach combines interventional radiology expertise with a high level of knowledge about the science of immunology, cancer, and cancer immunotherapy.

If you are looking for the most advanced and efficient form of cancer treatment, look no further. Our new cancer treatment immunotherapy has yielded very promising results.

If you or a loved one have any more questions or need information about this new cancer treatment, immunotherapy for cancer, OX40 cancer immunotherapy, or cd40 cancer immunotherapy, give us a call at Williams Cancer Institute. 


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Antibiotic use before cancer treatment cuts survival time study

4 Oct 2019 Cancer, Immunotherapy

We have discussed this before. It is becoming standard in our patients to not only evaluate the microbiome with Microbiome Dx, but also patients with recent antibiotic use prior to immunotherapy probably will need a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT).

Taking antibiotics in the month before starting immunotherapy dramatically reduces a cancer patient’s chances of survival, according to a small but groundbreaking study.

Scientists at Imperial College London believe antibiotics strip out helpful bacteria from the gut, which weakens the immune system. This appears to make it less likely that immunotherapy drugs will boost the body’s cancer-fighting capability.

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Source :

MDSC targeting with Gemtuzumab ozogamicin restores T cell immunity and immunotherapy against cancers

2 Sep 2019 Immunotherapy

There are numerous reasons for immunotherapy to fail or for cancer in general to be able to fight against your body and survive. One important mechanism is Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC). These are immune cells that can actually protect cancer. As described in this article, a new method to target these using a drug that is already FDA approved (Mylotarg) can enhance the success of immunotherapy such as immune check-point inhibitors (Keytruda, Opdivo, Yervoy) and also CAR-.

More on

Is Immunotherapy for Cancer Safe?

Your immune system does more than simply fight colds and flu. Throughout your life, your natural defenses seek out and destroy anything that is not recognized as part of the self including all kinds of germs and cancer cells before they have a chance to cause disease. Your immune system manages to destroy most rogue cells before they form a full-fledged tumor, but some of them get by your defenses. If you already have cancer, your immune system will still be working hard to keep your disease in check, but it probably can’t do the job on its own.

In recent years, more and more cancer patients have received treatments designed to give the immune system the upper hand against cancer. This approach called immunotherapy or biological therapy isn’t as widely used as radiation or chemotherapy. For most types of cancer, immunotherapy hasn’t been shown to be more effective than these standard treatments. And like the others, it can cause its own unpleasant side effects.

But immunotherapy can still be a powerful tool, either on its own or combined with chemotherapy or radiation. For certain patients including some in the advanced stages of skin cancer or kidney cancer immunotherapy can offer more than the conventional options, even the possibility of a complete cure. For others, it’s an additional, less toxic method of controlling their disease or reducing side effects from other treatments. In the years to come, as scientists learn more about the immune system, immunotherapy promises to become even more common and more effective.

What does it involve?

Immunotherapy often involves adding more immune cells, immune signaling molecules, or other biochemicals to the body. Unlike chemotherapy, which affects all fast-growing cells, immune treatments target specific processes or types of cells and should have a low impact on healthy tissues. The side effects depend on the particular biological agent used. Some have very mild side effects, while others cause serious problems.

The delivery will also depend on the agent used as well as your treatment plan. Some immunotherapy treatments are in the form of pills or shots you can take at home, while others are delivered intravenously (IV) in the hospital or clinic. Immunotherapy may be administered a couple of times a day or as seldom as every month or two.

What are the different types of immunotherapy?

There are two major types of immunotherapy: Treatments that add new disease-fighting cells to your body (T cells) and treatments that add other elements to your own immune system (such as antibodies, cytokines, and others). Many immunotherapy agents are experimental or investigational and are only available by enrolling in clinical trials.

How will my doctor decide if immunotherapy is right for me?

Not all patients or all cancers are good candidates for immunotherapy. At this time, the approach isn’t used very often for patients with cancer of the prostate or ovaries. And if your cancer was caught at an early stage or is responding well to other treatments, immunotherapy may simply not be necessary.

In certain cases, however, immunotherapy does seem to be more effective when used for some smaller, earlier-stage cancers. If your doctor does recommend immunotherapy, you will be getting a cutting-edge treatment that could make a big difference.

Call Us now to know if you are a candidate.


American Cancer Society. What is immunotherapy? October 2010.
American Cancer Society. Types of immunotherapy. October 2010.
National Cancer Institute. Biological therapies for cancer. Questions and answers. 2006.

Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer

Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. The immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases. It is made up of white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system.

Immunotherapy is a type of biological therapy. Biological therapy is a type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat cancer.

How Immunotherapy Works against Cancer

One reason that cancer cells thrive is because they are able to hide from your immune system. Certain immunotherapies can mark cancer cells so it is easier for the immune system to find and destroy them. Other immunotherapies boost your immune system to work better against cancer.

Immunotherapy Can Cause Side Effects

Immunotherapy can cause side effects, which affect people in different ways. The side effects you may have and how they make you feel will depend on how healthy you are before treatment, your type of cancer, how advanced it is, the type of therapy you are getting, and the dose. Doctors and nurses cannot know for certain how you will feel during treatment.

The most common side effects are skin reactions at the needle site. These side effects include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Soreness
  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Rash

Immunotherapies may also cause severe or even fatal allergic reactions. However, these reactions are rare.

Where You Go for Your Immunotherapy Treatment

You may receive immunotherapy in a doctor’s office, clinic, or outpatient unit in a hospital. Outpatient means you do not spend the night in the hospital.

Contact Us to know more.

How Often You Will Receive Immunotherapy Treatment

How often and how long you receive immunotherapy depends on:

  • Your type of cancer and how advanced it is
  • The type of immunotherapy you get
  • How your body reacts to treatment

You may have treatment every day, week, or month. Some immunotherapies are given in cycles. A cycle is a period of treatment followed by a period of rest. The rest period gives your body a chance to recover, respond to the immunotherapy, and build new healthy cells.

How to Tell Whether Immunotherapy Is Working

You will see your doctor often. He or she will give you physical exams and ask you how you feel. You will have medical tests, such as blood tests and different types of scans. These tests will measure the size of your tumor and look for changes in your blood work.

Who Receives Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is not yet as widely used as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. However, immunotherapies have been approved to treat people with many types of cancer.

To know if you are a candidate and yo know if our cancer treatments work for you, visit our Candidacy page.

How Cancer Affects Your Immune System and What to Do About It

It’s perhaps your biggest ally in helping your body fight disease. And understanding how your immune system joins forces with cancer treatment can give you a positive advantage.

Basically, your immune system targets disease and infection. It detects and destroys anything it sees as a threat.

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Parasites


  • Unhealthy cells including cancer cells!

The question perhaps you and everyone asks

Having a strong immune system should reduce your body’s vulnerability to illness and disease, right? So why do you still get sick?

Or receive a cancer diagnosis?

Your body’s immune system “highway”

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and tissues. It collects and transports excess fluids (including some fats) from other tissues throughout your body. It then provides them access to your bloodstream.

There’s a close connection between your lymphatic system and your immune system.

Many of the disease-fighting cells of the immune system: Begin in the bone marrow. Mature in the thymus. Are stored in strategic locations. Use the lymphatic “highway” system to travel through the body, and along with the lymph nodes and spleen filter out harmful materials and germs. An immune response occurs when the immune system is activated and responds. This can occur when a foreign invader is detected.1

How cancer takes advantage of your immune system

Theories abound. One is that your immune system attacks cells it views as foreign. And cancer cells start out as normal (looking) cells.

Any changes the cancer cell makes within can still appear normal to your immune system. The mutation can occur, the cells can grow and multiply, and no attack is launched to destroy them.

Cancer cells can turn off your body’s natural immune response and suppress the activity of local immune cells (which protect a specific organ or other part of the body). Within the tumor, the cancer cells can create an environment that interferes with the effectiveness of the immune response. 2

There are multiple layers to the somewhat covert attack of cancer cells on your body’s immune system. This makes it all the more necessary that you give yourself an advantage when receiving a cancer diagnosis.

A counter-attack on cancer

The ability of cancer to hide from your body’s natural, disease-fighting immune system calls for new strategies. Immunotherapy helps your immune system by strengthening or restoring its ability to fight cancer.


  • Stops cancer from spreading (metastasizing)
  • Increases your immune system’s cancer-killing efficiency
  • Reduces the speed or progress of cancer’s growth
  • Delivers therapies directly into cancer cells

Questions about immunotherapy and its unique relationship with your body’s immune system are important to your cancer fight. We’re experienced and prepared to provide you the answers you need about this unique and effective cancer treatment.

Contact us to discover how to give your immune system an advantage following a cancer diagnosis. Schedule a consultation to discuss immunotherapy.


What to Know About Common Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Your body is a fascinating organism. Cell to cell your immune system is capable of identifying normal cells and those it considers foreign and potentially harmful.

Checkpoint inhibitors are vital to helping treat cancer.

The basics of how it works: Your immune system responds by attacking the foreign cells and protecting the normal cells.

A whole new level of cancer treatment

What happens on the molecular level in your body is equally fascinating. Checkpoints on certain cellular molecules can be activated or inactivated to compel an immune response.

On the other hand, cancer cells can innovate and use these same checkpoints to avoid an attack by your immune system. This is where strategic drug therapies can be aimed at those checkpoints to give your cancer treatment an advantage.

Like an “off-switch”

Without getting too technical, meet PD-1. This particular checkpoint protein resides on your body’s immune cells called T-cells.

Think of it like an “off-switch”. It helps prevent T-cells from attacking your body’s other cells.

PD-1 joins with the protein, PD-L1, that lives on some normal (and cancer) cells in your body. Their joint effort sends a clear message to the T-cell that it should not mess with the other cell.

Cancer cells can have large amounts of PD-L1. This helps them be evasive against an immune system attack.

Certain antibodies can effectively target PD-1 or PD-L1 and block their joint defensive effort. This boosts your immune response against cancer cells.

Meet the immune checkpoint inhibitors that work

Keytruda (Pembrolizumab)

Opdivo (Nivolumab)

Libtayo (Cemiplimab)

This drug “arsenal” has a reputation for treating a variety of cancers:

  • Melanoma of the skin
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Hodgkin lymphoma

Be aware and informed

It’s important to be fully informed as you begin any drug therapy for cancer treatment. Keeping your immune system in top shape is essential to your treatment success.

We’re prepared to answer all your questions. And we’ll clearly communicate the range of potential side effects you could encounter during your treatment process.

Be confident that cancer immunotherapy research is consistently evolving. We are your cancer treatment advocates and will inform you of solutions that can maximize your body’s immune system to beat cancer.

Contact us about cancer treatment solutions. Schedule a consultation to get answers to the important questions regarding treatment.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Immunotherapy

Cancer can cause a fight-or-flight response. Fear is normal. After all, who isn’t afraid when they hear the diagnosis?

Even so you can still bring the fight to it.

Your Body’s Unique Ability to Fight Cancer

Immunotherapy is in your corner. Basically, the treatment stands alongside your immune system to help your body fight cancer.

It functions the same way as your immunity does helping your body fight infections and other diseases. Its special forces include your white blood cells, your organs, and the tissues that make up your lymph system.

Biological therapy is another way to describe immunotherapy. Think of it as treating and defeating cancer with living organisms.

Attack Strategy

Cancer’s strategy is to hide from your immune system. Specific immune strategies call-out cancer cells and mark them as a target for destruction.

Immunotherapy is a counter-attack that can be used in a variety of ways. Each have a specific impact on cancer.

Checkpoint inhibitors
These drugs join your immune system for the strong assault on a tumor. They release the brakes that hold white blood cells back from killing cancer cells. The drugs run interference on cancer cells to prevent them from avoiding the attack of your immune system.

Cell transfer
This treatment strategy brings-out-the-fight in your T-cells natural ability to battle cancer. Cells are directly removed from your tumor. The active ones are ultimately used in the fight against the cancer.

Treatment vaccines
These battle cancer as they energize your immune system’s response to cancer cells. Its a different brand of vaccine than is used to help prevent disease.

Collateral Impact

Immunotherapy is effective. But side-effects are also common.

  • Skin reactions at injection site can include some pain, swelling, soreness, or a rash that’s red or itches.
  • Flu-like symptoms might occur such as fever, chills, weakness, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, muscle aches, fatigue, and headache.
  • Other side-effects are low or high blood pressure, weight gain from fluid retention, sinus congestion, some allergic reactions (though rare), and heart palpitations.

Your initial health, the stage of cancer, and type of therapy are factors in the side-effects you experience.

Keep in mind that routine doctor visits will monitor your progress with immunotherapy. Medical tests (including blood tests) and a variety of scans will measure the tumor’s size and any changes in blood work.

Contact us about immunotherapy and get answers to your questions about cancer treatment.

Immunotherapy Treatment For Cancer

18 Jun 2018 Immunotherapy 1

What is immunotherapy? Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy or biotherapy, is an immune system therapy for cancer that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight the diseases. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory (also known as natural cancer fighters) to improve or restore these immune system functions.

This can be done in a couple of ways:

  • Stimulating your own immune system to work harder or smarter to attack cancer cells.
  • Giving you immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins.

Immunotherapy may accomplish the following things in a patient:

  • Stop or slow the growth of cancer cells
  • Stop the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body
  • Help the immune system work better at destroying the cancer cells
  • Boosting the immune system for cancer patients

There are several types of immunotherapy treatments:

  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Therapeutic Antibodies
  • Oncolytic virus therapy
  • T-cell therapy
  • Cancer vaccines

Monoclonal antibodies

Antibodies are proteins that fight infection, and when the body’s immune system detects something harmful, it produces these antibodies.

Monoclonal antibodies are a laboratory made specific type of therapy. They may be used in a variety of ways such as a targeted therapy to block an abnormal protein in a cancer cell. The immune system has a difficult time targeting cancer cells already. This is because cancer starts when cells become altered and start to grow out of control. The immune system doesn’t always recognize cancer cells as foreign so when monoclonal antibodies are used as an immunotherapy, some of these attach to specific proteins on cancer cells. This will flag the cells so the immune system can find and destroy them.

Therapeutic Antibodies

Therapeutic antibodies are antibodies made in the laboratory that are designed to cause the destruction of cancer cells. One class of therapeutic antibodies, called antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), has proven to be very effective. Several have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of different cancers.

ADCs are created by chemically connecting antibodies, or fragments of antibodies, to a toxic substance. The antibody portion of the ADC allows it to connect to a target molecule that is on the surface of cancer cells. The toxic substance can be a bacterial toxin, a small-molecule drug or a radioactive compound. Once an ADC binds to a cancer cell, it is taken up by the cell and the toxic substance kills it.

Several FDA approved ADC drugs have been used to treat various cancerous diseases. The ADC drug known as Kadcyla® has been used to fight breast cancer while others such as Adcetris® has been used in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma and a type of non-Hodgkin T-cell lymphoma. Zevalin®, another FDA approved ADC, has been used for the treatment of non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma.

Oncolytic virus therapy

Oncolytic virus therapy uses genetically modified viruses to kill cancer cells. A medical professional will inject a virus into the tumor which will then enter the cancer cells and makes copies of itself. As a result, the cells burst and die. Specific substances called antigens are then released as the cells die. This triggers the patient’s immune system to target all the cancer cells in the body that have those same antigens.
T-cell therapy

T-cells are immune cells that fight infection. In T-cell therapy, some T-cells are removed from a patient’s blood then the cells are changed in a laboratory so they have specific proteins called receptors. The receptors allow those T-cells to recognize the cancer cells. The changed T-cells are grown in large numbers in a lab and returned to the patient’s body. Once in the body, they seek out and destroy cancer cells.

Cancer vaccines

A vaccine is another method used to help the body fight cancer. The vaccine works by exposing the immune system to an antigen which triggers the immune system to recognize and destroy that antigen. The two types of cancer vaccines are prevention vaccines and treatment vaccines. Doctors will give prevention vaccines to healthy children and adults to protect the body from viruses that can lead to cancer or other diseases, but the patient must receive it before the virus is contracted. The two types of cancer prevention vaccines approved by the FDA are the HPV vaccine and Hepatitis B vaccine. Many health articles on cancer try to stress the importance of getting vaccinated for these viruses that can lead to cancer.

The hepatitis B vaccine prevents the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection which can cause liver cancer after a long lasting-infection. The HPV vaccine protects against human papillomavirus (HPV). If the virus is long-lasting, it can cause several different types of cancer such as anal cancer, genital warts and cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. It is important to remember that immunotherapy treatments for cancer work better for some than it does for others.

Treatment vaccines are different from the vaccines that work against viruses. These vaccines try to get the immune system to fight against cancer cells in the body. Instead of preventing disease, they are meant to get the immune system to attack a disease that already exists. Some cancer treatment vaccines are made up of cancer cells, parts of cells, or pure antigens. The treatment vaccine Sipuleucel-T (Provenge®) is used to treat prostate cancer. It is the only vaccine approved in the United States to treat cancer so far.

For additional help on understanding immunotherapy as a treatment for cancer, please visit

Women Told Immunotherapy Would Not Cure Cancer, Doctors Were Wrong

18 Jun 2018 Immunotherapy

Four young women had an extremely rare, aggressive and fatal form of ovarian cancer. They where not expected to live much longer as there was no standard treatment. These women, living in different countries, asked their doctors to try using new immunotherapy drugs for the treatment of the cancer. They were told the drugs were not a treatment for the ovarian cancer. The women where able to get the immunotherapy treatment and their cancers went into remission. It looks as if the doctors were wrong in these cases for immunotherapy being a successful treatment.

The women managed to successfully have the immunotherapy treatment, and have now returned to work and their lives returned to a state of normalcy after having this aggressive form of cancer. Scientists are struggling to understand why the drugs worked when they should have not been effective to treat the ovarian cancer. If researchers can figure out why it worked in these cases, it may open the door to new treatments for other cancers that have not been thought not to respond to immunotherapy treatments.

Read the entire New York Times Article.