There are a number of new, precision approaches to cancer treatment that target and attack the tumor directly. Below you will find an overview of treatment options.
Immunotherapy agents such as the immune checkpoint inhibitors Opdivo, Keytruda, Yervoy and OX40 agonist have been a revolution in cancer treatment, but they still have tremendous limitations. Studies have shown injecting these agents directly into a tumor may allow for more combinations, better success and less side effects than the typical intravenous administration. It is important to understand that this treatment is systemic, meaning it affects other tumors that are not directly injected. This means it is not needed to inject every tumor in cases where patients may have many. Also, patients already receiving intravenous immunotherapy may benefit by adding intratumoral immunotherapy to enhance their treatment. In addition, new experimental agents, such as an OX40 agonist, combined with CpG (called the Stanford cancer vaccine) have created even more excitement. This combination injected into the tumor, made worldwide news in early 2018, showing outstanding success with the idea of treating directly at a tumor site. The studies indicate that treating one or two sites can result in a whole-body anti-cancer immune response. The idea is that training the immune system at the site where it actually encounters the cancer is the most important, not just all throughout the body. These trained immune cells can then attack cancer in locations throughout the body.
Studies have shown that using image guided Cryoablation, a technique where a needle is placed into a tumor, then frozen, can enhance an anti-cancer immune response even in distant tumors. Further studies indicate that using this technique, combined with the injection of immunotherapy agents into the ablation and tumor site, can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the immune response, far more than just the medications or Cryoablation alone.
We offer unique combinations of immunotherapy that are enhanced with intratumoral injection and off label immune augmenting medications. In addition, if you are already receiving immunotherapy, or even chemotherapy, we can work with you and your doctor by adding image-guided injection of immunotherapy to boost your current treatment.
The future of breast cancer treatment, a minimally invasive procedure that can be essentially “scarless.” In addition, techniques such as vaccine adjuvants can be used to enhance the anti-cancer immune response of the Cryoablation procedure. We use techniques to minimize the spread and recurrence of cancer, such as the injection of NSAIDS (Ketorolac) directly into the tumor site when we perform ablations or biopsies.
Cryoablation is the placement of a needle into the tumor, freezing the tissue to destroy it. Typically, this is for limited disease, but when combined with immunotherapy it can be helpful even in advanced cancers. This is because Cryoablation releases dead pieces of tumor that can be detected by the immune system, combined with immunotherapy; this functions like a cancer vaccine. See the video below for an explanation.
Dr Williams CMO is a radiologist. He obtained his medical degree from Louisiana State University and has also completed an internship in Internal Medicine at The University of South Alabama. He is passionate about gene and cellular therapies, administered under image guidance. Image guided cancer therapies are also one of his interests. For several years, he did research with adenoviral vector technology used to treat cancer. He was selected for the RSNA Research Fellow Award. He has completed training in image guided cancer and spine procedures, and is board certified by the American Board of Radiology. He has research interests in gene therapy and stem cell reprogramming, as well as using CT and MRI for minimally invasive procedures related to the spine and cancer.
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