Optimizing my Chances for Successful Cancer Treatment
As you are probably aware, conventional chemotherapy has minimally improved survival for advanced-stage cancers. Because of the relative lack of benefit, scientists are exploring other techniques, such as molecular targeting and immunotherapy. The problems for the patient, when being treated in the U.S. are the following:
- Many of the new therapies are available only for those who qualify for a clinical trial.
- Many oncologists are not comfortable using drugs “off-label,” even if that drug may be effective. “Off-label” means using a drug for an indication or type of cancer other than what it was initially approved for.
- Many potentially exciting therapies cannot be administered in the U.S. because they have not been FDA-approved. In many other countries, including the European Union, when a patient has failed conventional treatment, and is expected to die from the disease, that individual has the right to experiment with non-approved modalities/drugs, in an attempt to save their life. Unfortunately, this infrequently occurs in the U.S. and most U.S. doctors are afraid of the repercussions from other doctors, the state medical board, and/or the FDA.
At ICT, we believe that all patients should have the right to use any modalities available, with the help of their doctors, to attempt to save their lives. Unfortunately, as stated above, not all modalities can be used in the U.S. ICT, therefore, has established a relationship with hospitals in Mexico City, that allow the use of experimental techniques, to include intra-tumoral immunotherapy.
Our advice to our prospective patients:
- Be open to all possibilities and explore all options! Listen carefully to all the options that we present because, often, optimal treatment may require the use of multiple techniques/modalities, both in and outside of the U.S.
- Be aware that the cost of treatment may be an important factor! Since techniques are frequently used that are not covered by insurance, the patient will often have a significant out-of-pocket expense. Keep in mind that minimizing your out-of-pocket expenses may at times, minimize your chances for optimal therapy.