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Naturopathic Medicine Blog

Immunotherapy and melanoma

Posted Mar 23rd, 2019 in Naturopathic Medicine, News, Tips

Immunotherapy and melanoma

The situation in Canada and North America

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, an estimated 72,00 new cases of melanoma are expected to happen every year in Canada. As many as 1,250 cases of melanoma die of this disease every year.4000 men and 3200 women will be diagnosed with melanoma every year in Canada. http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-melanoma/statistics/?region=bc 

Advances in the Medical Oncology Treatments for malignant melanoma

One of the most recent advances in Medical and Radiation Oncology treatments for Malignant Melanoma is the use of immunotherapy and radiation in treating advanced or metastatic disease. Immunotherapy is a newly developed treatment modality that is based on the inhibition of the immune checkpoints which simply means making the melanoma tumor cells more (visible) and (detectable) by the immune cells.  Examples of these immune therapies are ipilimumab, nivolumab, and pembrolizumab and they were all studied with radiation therapy in Melanoma and other cancers ( such as None Small Cell Lung Cancer and  Kidney Cancer)radiation in patients with metastatic NSCLC, melanoma, Chen et al (2018) who found that the concurrent use of the Immune Therapy and Stereotactic Radiation Therapy achieved a higher median overall survival ( 24.7 months) versus 12.9 months only for those treated by radiation therapy alone. https://jhu.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/concurrent-immune-checkpoint-inhibitors-and-stereotactic-radiosur 

What about Naturopathic Medicine and Immune Therapy in Melanoma

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioners started researching many natural health products in Melanoma Immune therapy. Viscum Album is a natural health product that belongs to the family Santalaceae of plants. It grows in Europe mainly and in western and southern Asia. This plant is a semiparasitic plant that grows over hundreds of years and the extract taken from its leaves is the main ingredient in the immune therapy for Melanoma.

How does the Viscum album work? Viscum Album acts as an immune system stimulator through many mechanisms such as activation of the process of apoptosis (programmed cell death), immune-modulating effects, direct cytotoxicity, increased phagocytic activity, increased lymphocytic cell activity (CD4 and CD25),  increase in Natural Killer cells and its activity, and modulation of the cytokine release(such asα TNF α, IL 1, and  IL -6).

Clinical studies on the efficacy of Viscum album in Melanoma were positive in terms of remission rate and survival (Werthmann, et al 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5704862/  ),

Can Natural Immune Therapies be administered to Melanoma patients safely?

There is a high safety profile for Natural Health products and melanoma patients. Only very tolerable side effects are expected when patients with melanoma start taking natural health products.

Have any questions? Need help?

Don’t hesitate to contact us

Hamilton and Grimsby office: visit this  link  https://www.ontarionaturopathicclinic.ca/site/contact-naturpathic-dr-grimsby-niagara 

Toronto office: visit this link: https://www.ontarionaturopathicclinic.ca/site/contact-naturpathic-dr-toronto-north-york 

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