Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Ovarian cancer is a difficult and trying disease; with a 47% five-year survival rate(1), more than half of those treated by conventional oncology will not respond. Furthermore, those patients who do enter remission are likely to be faced with a recurrent and persistent form of cancer that, in our experience, standardized protocols are not properly equipped to combat. With almost 2 decades of experience, it is our clinical opinion that many patients are led down the wrong path when beginning their ovarian cancer care. Instead of the one size fit all method that is currently practiced, care should be based on understanding what defines your particular cancer and treatment should be personalized to each and every patient. Integrative Cancer Centers of America is a center of excellence for personalized oncology and has unique testing and treatment options that may help ovarian cancer patients respond more favorably to care and potentially improve outcomes to increase the patient's overall quality of life. The sooner we can deploy targeted treatment the better.
At Integrative Cancer Centers of America, we have extensive experience in treating recurrent and persistent ovarian cancer that has become resistant to traditional treatment options. We specialize in difficult to treat cancers and have a unique understanding of integrative treatment options that need to be considered when traditional cancer options have failed. By combining the latest in research-based natural and conventional medicine from around the world, we have developed proprietary techniques and treatments to give our patients the best chance to respond positively to care.
Precision Genetic Testing for Ovarian Cancer
ICCA works with the most advanced laboratories from around the world to develop state-of-the-art testing for our patients. This world-class testing is used to precisely build and direct personalized cutting-edge ovarian cancer treatments and therapies to combat the most difficult cancer diagnoses like no other clinic in the nation can. It is important to realize that your ovarian cancer is unique, it is constantly mutating and changing to fight against treatment options that may be thrown at it. To fight back we need to aim at where your cancer is going rather than where it has been, and precision testing is the key to achieving progress. Not all genetic testing is the same though, what we do at ICCA is far beyond what most other clinics can offer in the realm of genomics and even targeted integrative treatments.
Most cancer centers that do genetic testing are basing their results on old tissue biopsy data. Because the cancer is constantly mutating the genetic information acquired from a tissue biopsy is not an accurate representation of the genetic targets the cancer is currently presenting. Additionally, the genetic testing results achieved through traditional tissue biopsy provides minimal information and does little to influence the conventional static approach being used to treat late-stage ovarian cancer.
ICCA's treatment methodology is based on the in-depth genetic information we gather on you and your unique cancer mutations. We look at genetic information from your circulating cancer cells that represent the most recent forms of your cancer and use them to determine biomarkers, chemotherapy susceptibility, molecular profiles, level of mutation, treatment resistance, and immunotherapy targets. In addition, we continue testing to track your circulating cancer cells and pivot our treatment to be completely dynamic, changing and adapting it to your most recent ovarian cancer mutations. This information is the backbone of how we treat your cancer and is part of what makes our approach more advanced than what other clinics provide.
No other clinic in the nation can test and treat at the personalized in-depth level we do, this gives us a decided edge on treating your cancer on multiple levels potentially allowing for the best chance at positive outcomes. The information we gather will be essential for fighting your circulating ovarian cancer cells and building a multitargeted, multifaceted treatment protocol. We take a detailed look at the genetics of your circulating ovarian cancer cells to identify genetic targets and chemotherapy-susceptibility to design medications at our in-house custom pharmacy that are best suited to target your specific needs. We call this method "N of 1" treatment and it means that our protocols are one of a kind, designed to treat your specific cancer with custom testing and individualized treatments.
However, we are not only interested in treating the cancer cells. We also want to do extensive testing to map your genetics, epigenetics, and miRNA in addition to testing for heavy metals, toxins, and infections to treat the root cause of your ovarian cancer and provide a complete approach to combating your disease.
ICCA's Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Options
The immune system is an important weapon against cancer and by treating your immune system through detoxification, nutrition, and immunotherapy we can help your body combat your condition in addition to helping you heal and recover. Information we gather in the testing stage like biomarkers, toxin levels, and nutritional data will help us in creating customized medications of the highest quality and safety at our in-house custom compounding pharmacy. Most oncology groups provide only commercially available drugs and are not able to customize medications in the way we need to treat our patients. For this reason, we developed our own pharmacy to facilitate our personalized targeted treatments and to ensure the quality and safety of our targeted medications. The information we gather through testing allows us to develop immunotherapy options designed with the goal of helping rebuild and train your immune system to target your cancer.
Through immunotherapy, we aim to promote the immune system to fight your ovarian cancer and attack the disease on multiple levels. Though immunotherapies such as PD1 inhibitors have been helpful in treating ovarian cancer it is often not enough. There are other important immunotherapies that must be considered. At its international division, ICCA implores many forms of immunotherapy to aid in treatment. One technique called IMX Therapy involves the utilization of expanded natural killer and dendric cells to use the body's natural defensive to combat your ovarian cancer. Your natural killer and dendric cells are genomically reprogramed to identify cancer cells and mark them for immune response(2). Testing is used to identify the surface biomarkers of your circulating cancer cells and dendritic cells can be removed, modulated, and replicated for reintroduction into the body(2). From there these modified dendritic cells can identify and mark cancer cells for attack by the immune system(2). This is only one of the many cutting-edge immunotherapies we employ at ICCA. Actively addressing the immune system and directly treating your cancer is important for providing long-term results. However, directly treating your ovarian cancer is not the only way to combat your disease. Refer to our published paper Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment to learn more. (IMX Therapy has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA and is currently only available at our ICCA Mexico facility)
Treating the Causes of Ovarian Cancer
Treating the root cause of your cancer is also a key component to the multifaceted approach we use at ICCA. One possible cause of cancer is genetic. Genetic mutations are commonly linked to ovarian cancer and mutations in the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes have been found to be a high-risk factor for both ovarian and breast cancer(3). The BRCA genes are important because they are responsible for suppressing tumor growth and when they become mutated cancer risk is significantly increased. It is estimated that about 1.3% of the general population of women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime(3). However, about 44% of women with a mutation of the BRCA 1 gene will be expected to develop ovarian cancer and about 17% of those with a mutation of the BRCA 2 gene will be expected to develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime(3). BRCA is a very important gene when focusing on ovarian cancer but there are many more genes that can be identified as potential treatment targets.
ICCA's genetic testing is far more advanced and in-depth than what other major clinics and hospitals offer. We look at multiple genes including BRCA when identifying important targets and treating our ovarian cancer patients. We accomplish this by using state-of-the-art epigenetic and miRNA therapies to address the genetic factors that may be feeding the cancer. With epigenetic information, we can design medications in our customizable pharmacy with the goal to promote the expression of tumor suppressant genes like BRCA 1 and 2 and block oncogenes that facilitate tumor growth. We have gained extensive experience treating the genetic causes of cancer in our 20 years as a medical clinic and we understand the importance of addressing this problem to promote your healing.
These epigenetic targets and genetic mutations are discovered through our extensive testing, along with other potential causes for your ovarian cancer including environmental causes like heavy metals and toxins, and infectious causes like bacteria and viruses. Research has shown that hereditary genetic factors largely affect ovarian cancer, but in general, only 2-3% of cancer is caused by genetic factors(4). However, 98% of cancers develop from carcinogens that cause cancer genes to turn on epigenetic factors. Refer to our peer-reviewed published paper Cancer and Infectious Causes to learn more. We are experts at treating infections and our proprietary testing will help determine if there are infectious or environmental causes linked to your ovarian cancer. More often than not, we find these factors during testing with our patients.
Once all of the potential causes we are aware of that may be linked to your cancer have been determined, we then utilize personalized treatment options to include specific detoxification treatments to aid your body in removing toxins, heavy metals, and other carcinogens to include chemotherapy that extends past its half-life. Traditional detox methods can be helpful but when treating ovarian cancer; what ICCA offers goes far beyond what other clinics are able to provide. We utilize unique detoxification technology which can filter 4.5 times your blood volume within about an hour through special cartridges that remove toxins, chemicals, circulating tumor cells, and infectious die-off before circulating the blood back into your body. We have seen clinically this advanced form of detoxification provide beneficial results for most patients during treatment; where traditional detoxification methods can take months or even years to be effective and still not achieve this level of detox. Identifying and treating the root causes of your ovarian cancer is an often-overlooked factor yet critical factor that ICCA addresses to help our patients outperform other centers in our clinical opinion.
Going Beyond Traditional Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer
Much like how we approach the other areas of ovarian cancer treatment, we approach chemotherapy in a personalized targeted methodology that utilizes cutting-edge proprietary therapies with metronomic dosing. Standard oncology uses maximum therapeutic doses to try and choke out your cancer; cancer centers use the maximum therapeutic doses in most cases without accurate genetic targeting. Most of our patients have exhausted these measures and found it to be a harmful and taxing approach that causes a multitude of side-effects and is extremely hard for their body to tolerate, possibly harming more than it helps if the wrong chemotherapy agents are selected. When the wrong chemotherapy agents are selected it allows the cancer to become even more resistant leading to further spread and weakens the immune system overall. This is when most patients get a wake-up call and look for more personalized approaches.
At ICCA we use a specialized targeted treatment that was researched and developed by our physicians known as Genetically Targeted Fractionated Chemotherapy (GTFC). GTFC is designed with the goal of being more efficient at treating real-time genetic targets of the cancer while reducing major side-effects and sparing and even improving the immune system. GTFC is unique because it can increase the amount of chemotherapy medication absorbed by cancerous cells. Often time only 4-5% of systemic chemotherapy makes it to the tumor while ICCA works for 100% delivery direct to the tumor with both intra-tumor deployment when needed and metronomic (low-dose) treatment coordinated.
To break it down we start with genetically targeted, this means we look at the genetics from your current circulating tumor cells and free-floating DNA found in the circulation of your blood and tumor biopsy to target your cancer's weak points(5). We then gather information on biomarkers at a cellular, chromosomal, genetic, epigenetic, antigen, and metabolic level. Then, multi-drug resistance, chemo susceptibility, and molecular profiles of your ovarian cancer are taken into consideration to build a genetically targeted and fractionated chemotherapy protocol that is designed to best attack and kill your unique form of cancer(5). In addition to genetically targeting our chemotherapies, GTFC allows us to use many different types of chemotherapy at once at fractionated doses and higher frequency(5). The fractionated part of our GTFC treatment is what makes this possible. By using small doses of chemotherapy we can utilize multiple different drugs at once to attack your cancer from multiple angles utilizing different methods of tumor kill while lowering the chances of the cancer cells being able to resist treatment. Furthermore, by fractionating the doses of chemotherapy, we are able to dose at a higher frequency providing a more consistent and comprehensive attack on your ovarian cancer(5). Finally, by utilizing fractionated doses and combining it with pharmacogenomics (how your metabolizes drugs) and our advanced detoxification methods the side-effects of GTFC can be vastly reduced in comparison to normal oncology(5). (refer to our published paper Genetically Targeted Fractionated Chemotherapy to learn more).
CIPI ™: Next-Generation, Precision Chemotherapy Delivery
CIPI ™, or CIPI ™, or Chemo Immunotherapy Percutaneous Injections, is one of ICCA's proprietary ovarian cancer treatment options that takes full advantage of the targeted low-dose chemotherapy paradigm. CIPI ™ is a unique form of chemoembolization that directly targets the tumor cite for precision delivery of custom-tailored chemotherapy cocktails combined with personalized immunotherapy adjuvant care. Working in concert, patient-specific micro-dosed chemotherapy and genetically targeted adjunctive immunotherapy attack the tumor site while potentially minimizing the detrimental sides-effects to the surrounding tissue. This is a game-changer, especially for ovarian cancer patients who may have been unresponsive to conventional standard of care chemotherapy administration. Not all patients are candidates for the CIPI ™ procedure, so be sure to consult with ICCA physicians to see if CIPI ™ is right for you.
You may be wondering, how is ICCA able to use such small doses of genetically target chemotherapies while conventional oncology must use a maximum therapeutic dose? The question has many answers. To start, conventional oncology often prescribes chemotherapy based on NCCN guidelines. The NCCN (National Comprehensive Cancer Network) derives "effective" cancer treatment options based off large generic clinical trials that are based around a cancer type and staging and do not take into account the patient's genetic mutations. ICCA, being a truly integrative clinic, is not bound by the NCCN restrictions and are able to treat you, the patient, as an individual with unique mutations and tailored treatment options. Our patients are "N of 1" meaning we build a personalized clinical treatment for you and you alone based on your own genetic mutations and treatment options that may be effective based on your specific ovarian cancer targets.
With all the research and development ICCA does to customize and tailor our treatment options, it becomes clear that ICCA is in a league of its own. Based on our own patients' statements over the years and our clinical opinion, ICCA operates at a higher personalized integrative level and we offer one-of-a-kind personalized integrative treatment options with unmatched care and compassion. Our philosophy is to provide the highest quality compassionate care to our patients and to help them make meaningful and life-changing progress in the fight against their disease. If you or one of your loved have questions about ovarian cancer, please contact our Patient Care Coordinator team at (888) 526-6398 and let us help you on your path to treatment. And may God bless you on your journey to healing.
 ACS. Survival Rates for Ovarian Cancer, by Stage. 2018 April 11, 2018 [cited 2018 11/9]; Available from: https://www.cancer.org/
 Smith, A.J., J. Oertle, and D. Prato, Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment. Open Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2014. Vol.04No.03: p. 14.
 NCI. BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing. 2016 [cited 2018 11/9]; Available from: https://www.cancer.gov/
 Smith, A.J., J. Oertle, and D. Prato, Cancer and Infectious Causes. Open Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2014. Vol.04No.03: p. 17.
 Smith, A.J., J. Oertle, and D. Prato, Genetically Targeted Fractionated Chemotherapy. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 2015. Vol.06No.02: p. 17.