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What Is the Issels Treatment?

By Andy Josiah
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The Issels treatment, also known as Issels combination therapy, is a type of treatment developed by German physician Josef Issels to fight cancer by using immunotherapy, which involves adjusting the body's immune response to disease. Issels believed that it is a non-toxic way of recognizing and eliminating cancer cells. The Issels treatment, however, remains a very controversial medical method.

Issels believed that he could cure cancer by combining conventional and alternative methods. This means that he not only concentrated on the tumors that characterize cancer, but the immune system of the patient as a whole. This is why the Issels treatment is known as a type of integrative immunotherapy or referred to by its alternative term, Issels combination therapy. The alternative methods used in Issels treatment include removing front teeth or tonsils to prevent the spread of infection; introducing strict diets that usually consists of herbal tea and spring water and the abstinence of alcohol and caffeine; and vaccines developed by Issels and his research partner, Swiss veterinarian Franz Gerlach.

In 1951, Issels opened a clinic for the administration of this type of cancer treatment. In 1970, he published an article in the Clinical Trials Journal called "Immunotherapy in Progressive Metastatic Cancer, A Fifteen Year Survival Follow-up" in which he claimed that out of 370 patients under his care post-surgery or radiation, 87 percent of them lived beyond a five-year period without any detectable case of metastases, or spread of cancer.

The Issel treatment is not a popular treatment. In 1972, the American Cancer Society (ACS) published an article in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians called "Unproven Methods of Cancer Treatment: Issel Combination Therapy," which denounced the treatment as ineffective. This was based on a report filed by a group of British researchers visiting Issels' clinic, which noted that the patients there, curiously, either did not show signs of cancer when admitted or significant tumor regression.

Additionally, the ACS article made references to Issels' legal issues, most notably the 1961 charges of fraud and manslaughter against him for promising the alternate treatment to patients, thus possibly leading to their deaths. Although Issels was acquitted of all charges three years later on the grounds of his genuine belief in his invention, his reputation as a physician was irrevocably sullied and only help seal the reputation of the Issel treatment as an unproven and ineffective mode of treatment for cancer.

The Issels treatment was used for famous clients such as Jamaican global reggae icon Bob Marley and Lillian Board, who was a British gold medalist in 400- and 800-meter races. Interestingly enough, the Issels treatment was particularly designed for advanced cases of cancer. It failed, however, to save the lives of Marley and Board, who suffered from melanoma and colorectal cancer, respectively.

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Discussion Comments
By anon326728 — On Mar 23, 2013

The Issels Treatment is much confused by sensationalist writers, as it is used most often to degrade or negate any form of medical practice considered an economic threat to existing structures.

Natural medicine in combination with advanced and conventional cancer protocols often has a greater ability to address all aspects of patient health, at times with improved success. This group of protocols is repeated at clinics around the world.

The treatments revolve around IV infusions of high vitamin C, and other ingredients to boost and/or combat varied health disorders that affect the patient's immune system and help it to operate normally. Additional therapies now include hyperbaric oxygen, ozone, alkalizing agents, probiotics, infrared sauna, nutrition supplements, massage, acupuncture, and personal counseling.

It is collecting and combining of these therapies and others, and applying them in a protocol that brought the success out there and can be noted to Dr. Issels.

Anyone may look online testimonials made by patients whose lives were improved significantly by Issels Medical Center. There are historic cases of note, e.g., Bob Marley. It should be recognized that Marley came to Dr. Josef Issels as a last resort when all other efforts had failed. Any patient seeking the greatest success in these type programs are best to engage in them early and not only as a last resort. I know people who have been helped by such programs and will defend them.

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