Weisenthal Cancer Center

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mpbser
Posts: 905
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:52 am

Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby mpbser » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:29 am

Has anyone used the Weisenthal Cancer Center in California?

http://www.weisenthalcancer.com/Technology.html

Thoughts?
Wife 4/17 Dx age 45
5/17 LAR
Adenocarcinoma
5 x 4 x 1 cm
low grade
T3 N2b M1a
Stage IV A
8/17 Sub-total colectomy
2nd tumor 5.5 cm T1 N0
lymph nodes: 9 of 96
CEA: 2.9 to 2.2
MSS/MSI-L
Lynch no; KRAS wild
Immunohistochemsistry Normal
Tumor: MTOR, APC, TP53
Fall 2017 FOLFOX shrank the 1 met in liver
1/18 Liver left hepatectomy seg 4
5/18 CT clear
12/18 MRI shows 1 liver met
3/7/19 Resection & HAI
4/1/19 Folfiri & FUDR
5/13/19 HAI pump catheter dislodge, nearly hemorrhaged to death
6/10/19 5FU

mpbser
Posts: 905
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:52 am

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby mpbser » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:46 am

Darn it! Discovered this place/testing too late: "The tests cannot be performed on dead cells or on tissues that were obtained in a past surgery or biopsy procedure."
Wife 4/17 Dx age 45
5/17 LAR
Adenocarcinoma
5 x 4 x 1 cm
low grade
T3 N2b M1a
Stage IV A
8/17 Sub-total colectomy
2nd tumor 5.5 cm T1 N0
lymph nodes: 9 of 96
CEA: 2.9 to 2.2
MSS/MSI-L
Lynch no; KRAS wild
Immunohistochemsistry Normal
Tumor: MTOR, APC, TP53
Fall 2017 FOLFOX shrank the 1 met in liver
1/18 Liver left hepatectomy seg 4
5/18 CT clear
12/18 MRI shows 1 liver met
3/7/19 Resection & HAI
4/1/19 Folfiri & FUDR
5/13/19 HAI pump catheter dislodge, nearly hemorrhaged to death
6/10/19 5FU

rp1954
Posts: 1518
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:13 am

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby rp1954 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:59 pm

Pyro70 wrote:
zephyr wrote:
rp1954 wrote:I had the live tumor tissue tested with various chemo formulations by an outside lab.

... I'm going to ask… about finding a lab to do this kind of testing. It's something that somehow never occurred to me. Live and learn....

I’ve never heard of an oncologist recommending this approach nor of a clinical trial showing the validity of it. Also, since so many agents work “in vitro” (in a test tube) in pre-clinical work, but then fail to be effective “in vivo” (in the body), there is little rationale for thinking that outside the body testing translates to IV chemo efficacy.

...specifically about lab testing chemo susceptibility of tumor samples.

I'm taking this off poor ole Mike Manes' thread being hijacked, and moving it here, since it concerns techniques pioneered by Weisenthal Cancer Center and Nagourney Cancer Institute (formerly Rational Therapeutics). A number of hopeless, metastatic patients have managed to salvage their treatments, and snatch back their lives, with new tx options this way over the last few decades. Another area of not-so-benign neglect, bias, and oncological ignorance, IMHO.

For the most part, I'm going to refer everyone to the websites of Weisenthal and Nagourney for the lengthy backstory and rationale. Also various forums archives. Other vendor lab(s) have been established with Medicare for payment, which requires a certain level of support evidence. 8 years later, I'm not sure who is approved for Medicare and various insurers' payments now.
watchful, active researcher and caregiver for stage IVb/c CC. surgeries 4/10 sigmoid etc & 5/11 para-aortic LN cluster; 8 yrs immuno-Chemo for mCRC; now no chemo
most of 2010 Life Extension recommendations and possibilities + more, some (much) higher, peaking ~2011-12, taper to almost nothing mid 2018, mostly IV C

rp1954
Posts: 1518
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:13 am

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby rp1954 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:00 pm

mpbser wrote:... Dr. Weisenthal in California:....Has anyone consulted with him?

We originally consulted there but the travel time and distance were problems, and didn't ship there. Also I had difficulty with them on de novo testing of cheap, potentially controversial, off label items, like specific vitamers and their combination with 5FU. But some were aware of my wife's lab results, if they remember.
watchful, active researcher and caregiver for stage IVb/c CC. surgeries 4/10 sigmoid etc & 5/11 para-aortic LN cluster; 8 yrs immuno-Chemo for mCRC; now no chemo
most of 2010 Life Extension recommendations and possibilities + more, some (much) higher, peaking ~2011-12, taper to almost nothing mid 2018, mostly IV C

Pyro70
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:25 pm

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby Pyro70 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:29 pm

I looked into Weisenthal a bit. Specifically I read his FAQ at:
http://weisenthal.org/breast_ca_husband_letter.htm

I think it’s clear he operates at the fringes of accepted science. Is this full-blown quackery? probably not, because he is quite upfront about the limitations of chemo sensitivity testing. Nevertheless, I can’t see the benefit for CRC patients.

What are you going to test anyways? There are really only 3 major cytotoxic agents for CRC: 5FU, irinotinec, and oxalioatin. Let’s say your cancer doesn’t respond in vitro to 5FU, are you going to leave it out of FOLFIRI/FOLFOX? It doesn’t seem like he tests the combination anyways, so who is to say there isn’t a synergistic effect by the combination in vivo? CRC management is all about having many lines of treatment, if one doesn’t work (ie you progress) you just move on to the next. There is likely limited harm / opportunity lost by using an ineffective regime for a few months anyways.

Also the chemo sensitivity obviously isn’t applicable to biologics like anti-VEGF (bevacizumab) because they rely on blocking vascular growth of tumors. You won’t be able to test that in vitro. Same goes for immunotherapy.

Maybe there is more potential benefit in non-CRC cancers. But for CRC, I see no clinical benefit.
Dx Jan 2017 stage IVB w/ PC age 35
FOLFOX
SEP 17 HIPEC 1, anastamosis leak
XELODA
MAR 18 HIPEC 2
JUN 18, ileo reversal and 2nd anastamosis leak

zephyr
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby zephyr » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:15 pm

Pyro70 wrote: There is likely limited harm / opportunity lost by using an ineffective regime for a few months anyways.


Speaking only for myself, it depends on the side effects. I spent 6 months on a treatment that wasn't working and it about did me in. I don't know how my husband kept me going. If I had known going in that the drug probably wasn't going to work, I would have known to quit much sooner - when the first scan showed no improvement - rather than continue until I couldn't take it anymore. My lung surgeries might have been less complicated if I had arrived sooner and the tumors hadn't grown so much.
Nov-2009 Early stage CRC found during routine colonoscopy
2010, 2011, 2014 Follow up colonoscopies, all clear
Jun-2016 CRC found during routine follow up colonoscopy, surgery, Stage 4, KRAS, MSS, inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016-May-2018 Folfox, 5FU & Avastin, 5FU, Folfiri & Cyramza
Aug/Sep-2018 YAG laser surgeries (Germany) on both lungs, 11 nodules (9 mets) removed
Nov-2018 clean CT scan
Mar-2019 New lung nodules
April-2019 Xeloda + Avastin

Pyro70
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:25 pm

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby Pyro70 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:16 pm

zephyr wrote:
Pyro70 wrote: There is likely limited harm / opportunity lost by using an ineffective regime for a few months anyways.


Speaking only for myself, it depends on the side effects. I spent 6 months on a treatment that wasn't working and it about did me in. I don't know how my husband kept me going. If I had known going in that the drug probably wasn't going to work, I would have known to quit much sooner - when the first scan showed no improvement - rather than continue until I couldn't take it anymore. My lung surgeries might have been less complicated if I had arrived sooner and the tumors hadn't grown so much.


But what was the drug? Would in vitro testing really give you enough confidence to skip it? I doubt many (if any) oncologists would recommend that. Also how do you know it wasn’t working? I assume “no-improvement” also means no-progression, for most CRC chemo regimes that’s about all you can hope for.
Dx Jan 2017 stage IVB w/ PC age 35
FOLFOX
SEP 17 HIPEC 1, anastamosis leak
XELODA
MAR 18 HIPEC 2
JUN 18, ileo reversal and 2nd anastamosis leak

rp1954
Posts: 1518
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:13 am

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby rp1954 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:15 am

Pyro70 wrote:I think it’s clear he operates at the fringes of accepted science. Is this full-blown quackery? probably not, because he is quite upfront about the limitations of chemo sensitivity testing.

Seems to be heavy on bias and negativity built on a solid lack of investigation or experimentation.

Nevertheless, I can’t see the benefit for CRC patients. It doesn’t seem like he tests the combination anyways, so who is to say there isn’t a synergistic effect by the combination in vivo?

The obvious is to expand the number of options, prioritize good candidates, and eliminate poor candidates. At least at "our" lab, we got de novo combinations done that turned out to be reasonably predictive in later in vivo applications to maintain, or regain, chemosensitivity; and two combinations' relative performance in vivo.

What are you going to test anyways? There are really only 3 major cytotoxic agents for CRC: 5FU, irinotinec, and oxali[pl]atin.

In the early 2010s, some forums' members appeared to be getting extra time with gemacitabine based treatments. In our lab series, a combination similar to GOLFIG, a protocol nominated in Europe, outperformed Folfox-iri combos. Also, any less toxic, off-label items that test well could be a huge boon, as our added adjuncts were.

CRC management is all about having many lines of treatment, if one doesn’t work (ie you progress) you just move on to the next.

In 2010-2014, that was about 2-3 lines and you're out. Permanently. Often with a lot of pain and suffering, expense, morbidity and disability. By your reckoning of presumed placebos like IV vitamin C etc, we rode one line with one drug, 5FU, for 8 years and hopefully, NED.

There is likely limited harm / opportunity lost by using an ineffective regime for a few months anyways.

.vs adding years with a better line. better = side benefits, increased OS, increased QOL, much lower cost

...for CRC, I see no clinical benefit.

through the lens of actual, successful, predictive uses in our case, we see it much differently
watchful, active researcher and caregiver for stage IVb/c CC. surgeries 4/10 sigmoid etc & 5/11 para-aortic LN cluster; 8 yrs immuno-Chemo for mCRC; now no chemo
most of 2010 Life Extension recommendations and possibilities + more, some (much) higher, peaking ~2011-12, taper to almost nothing mid 2018, mostly IV C

Pyro70
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:25 pm

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby Pyro70 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:46 pm

rp1954 wrote:Seems to be heavy on bias and negativity built on a solid lack of investigation or experimentation.


Not much point here in discussing line by line. However, I will say I’m all for investigation and expirmentation, but it needs to be done in a scientifically rigorous manner. CRC is an extremely heterogenous disease. Some people progress rapidly, others don’t, with or without medical intervention. This makes it impossible to draw any conclusion about efficacy from any single case or small groups of cases. We’ve actually signicantly increased overall survival of mCRC since the early 2000s - the improvements have been a result of researchers working tirelessly in a rigorous scientific manner. Do I wish things would go faster? Certainly, most likely research won’t advance fast enough to save me. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but there is no alternative.
Dx Jan 2017 stage IVB w/ PC age 35
FOLFOX
SEP 17 HIPEC 1, anastamosis leak
XELODA
MAR 18 HIPEC 2
JUN 18, ileo reversal and 2nd anastamosis leak

rp1954
Posts: 1518
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:13 am

Re: Weisenthal Cancer Center

Postby rp1954 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:17 pm

Pyro70 wrote:... I will say I’m all for investigation and expirmentation, but it needs to be done in a scientifically rigorous manner.

That's fine for medical ethics and a pharma, university or a personal professional position. For individual patients, it's all about performance by any productive, reasonably cautious, biologically based means. In the here and now. Also one does not have to be a member of some medical-industrial-financial priesthood to improve on the scientific application of something.

CRC is an extremely heterogenous disease.

That is actually a reason for "fringe" technologies like cytological kill tests with adjunct treatment components and combinations, long before formal testing becomes rigorous enough in 10-30 years, or on the 12th of Never.

Some people progress rapidly, others don’t, with or without medical intervention.

That sounds like some unfortunate blend of medical nilism and fatalism, even if it reflects a historical majority. When the doubling time gets down to ~5 weeks, it behooves some people to work harder, smarter, faster. Also targeted cimetidine remains a missed chance for a majority of the true stage 2 and 3 patients that recur to have done better earlier.

This makes it impossible to draw any conclusion about efficacy from any single case or small groups of cases.

We've seen singular, remarkable cases that allowed very real technologies to emerge as strong possibilities in the here and now. Sleen and Cynthia come to mind.
Perhaps Kemeny's HAI alums or those that had laser lung resections done in Germany with massive met loads qualify too. They had less rigorously tested (large, multicentered, placebo controlled, FDA approved trials) treatments that clearly saved the patients' lives here.

We’ve actually signicantly increased overall survival of mCRC since the early 2000s - the improvements have been a result of researchers working tirelessly in a rigorous scientific manner. Do I wish things would go faster? Certainly, most likely research won’t advance fast enough to save me.

What's sad is that there are often identifiable, low risk-high payoff, useful technologies laying around for less vetted uses.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but there is no alternative.

We and others refused to drink that Kool-Aid. We found rational, biologically based alternatives, some foreign, some old, some new, some targetable, some testable, and they added together nicely.
watchful, active researcher and caregiver for stage IVb/c CC. surgeries 4/10 sigmoid etc & 5/11 para-aortic LN cluster; 8 yrs immuno-Chemo for mCRC; now no chemo
most of 2010 Life Extension recommendations and possibilities + more, some (much) higher, peaking ~2011-12, taper to almost nothing mid 2018, mostly IV C


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