FAQ

Here are brief answers to the questions most frequently asked by scientists, physicians and patients.

Readers may also find helpful the section for physicians and the one on the Immunepheresis Program.

1) How does OncoPherese Treatment work?

OncoPherese works by physically removing certain molecules from the bloodstream that are produced by cancer cells directly. These molecules inhibit the immune system and thereby protect the cancer. Once they are physically removed – using a specialized extracorporeal system similar to a dialysis machine – the immune system is better able to destroy the cancer cells. See “About OncoPherese” for more information on how the treatment works.

2) Does it work for every cancer?

OncoPherese appears to work on a broad spectrum of solid tumor cancer types (i.e. no blood cancers), probably because all such cancers use the same mechanism to protect themselves from the immune system. It has been proven especially effective for patients with healthy immune systems. Most but not all patients show a positive response.

3) Whatís the success rate?

On average, the success rate of OncoPherese is significantly higher than chemotherapy or radiation. With conventional treatments, less than 20% of late stage metastatic cancer patients show a “major response” – meaning either remission or reduction in tumor mass of greater than 50%. Overall about 61% of OncoPherese patients, representing 25 cancer types, show such a response following treatment. The major response rate for the 10 best responding cancer types is over 91%. Numerous patients with late stage metastatic disease treated exclusively by OncoPherese have attained clinical remission, which is normally extremely rare with conventional treatment.

The major predictors of response appear to be cancer stage and health of the patientís immune system. For patients with significant prior therapy, the success rate is lower. For patients with no prior chemotherapy or radiation, the success rate is higher. For more information on efficacy, see “Results Summary.”

4) What are the side effects?

Side effects are transient and minor, and are related to immune activation. Most patients experience mild tumor ache, low-grade fever, and flu-like symptoms. Patients often feel well enough to socialize, read, have lunch and walk around during breaks. Some prefer to sleep during treatment. More serious side effects include increased hypercoaguable state associated with tumor breakdown, which can require medical intervention. Patients are constantly monitored and side effects managed by trained nursing staff and doctors.

6) What follow-up care is recommended?

At the end of a prescribed course of treatment by OncoPherese, patients generally return home to their attending/referring physician for an assessment of their response. If the expected positive response is found, additional OncoPherese treatments can be planned to achieve maximum improvement. Physicians should review “For Physicians” for more information on follow-up care and other medical issues.

7) Can OncoPherese be repeated or used as adjunctive therapy?

One of the most appealing attributes of OncoPherese is that, unlike chemotherapy, it is not dose-limited; patients who show a positive response but suffer recurrent growths later almost always respond positively to additional therapy. Patients who do not show a positive initial response have the same options they had before OncoPherese.

It is required that patients discontinue chemotherapy and radiation while undergoing OncoPherese. The immuno-suppressive nature of these treatments can interfere with the efficacy of OncoPherese.

8) What tests are required before and after treatment?

Complete H&P, before-and-after scans (preferably CT with and without contrast to highlight changes in density), and blood tumor markers are required to guide treatment and assess response. The Lentz Practice staff is happy to provide a list of blood tests and scans required before treatment. See “For Prospective Patients” for more information.

9) Can you treat children with cancer via OncoPherese?

Unfortunately, the Lentz Practice is not set up to address the physical and psychological issues associated with treatment of children with cancer. Patients must be 16 years of age or older to be treated.

10) Where is this treatment available?

OncoPherese is currently only available at the Lentz Practice in Prien, Germany. OncoPherese will be made available in other locations in coming years.

11) Why isn't OncoPherese more widely available?

The International Immunology Foundation and the Lentz Practice have been focused on the scientific development and clinical application of this therapy for over 25 years, receiving over 60 patents. The 15th generation of the technology – the first thatís mass-producible – is nearing completion and thus future expansion can finally be considered.

12) How does OncoPherese differ from other cancer immunotherapies?

Immunotherapy is now emerging as the 4th modality of cancer treatment, with a tremendous amount of investment, research activity, publications and media attention. Most other cancer immunotherapies are based on the assumption that the immune systems of cancer patients are fundamentally deficient and require stimulation. OncoPherese, in contrast, is based on the assumption that cancer patients are immunologically competent overall but their immune systems are locally inhibited in the microenvironments of their tumors. Other immunotherapies for cancer have significantly lower efficacy and often serious side effects, potentially because they involve stimulation of a precisely balanced system, without first removing immune inhibitors.

Address:

International Immunology Foundation
Dr.-Siebert-Str. 5
83209 Prien
GERMANY

Weíre open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central European Time (Eastern Standard Time + 6 hours).

Phone:

From within Germany: +49-8051-909-300
From EU to Germany: +49-8051-909-300
From the U.S.: 011-49-8051-909-300

Fax:

From within Germany: +49-8051-909-301
From EU to Germany: +49-8051-909-301
From the U.S.: 011-49-8051-909-301