CTCA doctor presents cutting-edge treatments for cancer patients to medical colleagues

Walter Quan, Jr., MD Chief of Medical Oncology and Director of Immunotherapy at Cancer Treatment Centers of America- (CTCA) Western Regional Medical Center is presenting new findings that are showing a major benefit to cancer patients.

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) national meeting is being held in National Harbor, MD November 7-10, 2013. Hundreds of expert doctors from all over the country will attend workshops, learn new techniques and engage in a hot topic symposium.

Dr. Quan will be speaking on two topics, the first is a new treatment that involves a combination chemoimmunotherapy with monthly cycles of 5-Fluorouracil + Interferon-alfa-2b in previously-treated advanced cancer (with CTCA co-authors Dr. Vivek Khemka, Dr. Laura Martel, and Marci Pierog RN). Combination chemoimmunotherapy is a study in which we treated 18 patients who all had had their advanced cancers grow despite at least 2 different types of chemotherapy treatments. The rationale for our chemoimmunotherapy combination (given over 3 days per month) was to use a chemotherapy drug called 5-Fluorouracil to essentially "soften up" the person's cancer to an attack from that patient's immune system which was stimulated by the immune system booster Interferon-alfa-2b. The treatment was well-tolerated with flu-like symptoms such as fever, shivers, and nausea being the most common side effects. One patient with widely spread non-small cell lung cancer has had shrinkage of her cancer, ongoing at over 1 year. Another patient with colon cancer spread to liver and lymph nodes has had shrinkage of his cancer, ongoing at more than 4 months.

The second topic discusses an activity of dose-dense outpatient intravenous Interleukin-2 preceded by famotidine in metastatic clear cell cancer of the kidney (which is based on work done at Loma Linda). This is a study in which the messenger attack protein Interleukin-2 (the immune system's "911" call) was used along with the antihistamine famotidine (which acts like a signal enhancer) to treat people with widely spread kidney cancer as an outpatient. The rationale for this treatment (which was given for 3 days per week for 6 consecutive weeks) is to send wave after wave of super-charged cancer-killing white blood cells to attack a person's kidney cancer.

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