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As we now live in an age in which information freely flows and all manners of hyperbole are available at our fingertips through our screens, it is hard to know what is “real” and what is “fake.” Patients that receive a cancer diagnosis often find themselves scouring the corners of the internet attempting to find a better treatment option or something that ensures their odds of survival, only to be met with a smattering of anecdotes, reviews on all extremes, and no real idea what path they should take. Here, we’ll dive into a few overarching principles that should be taken into account when doing your due diligence and discuss how ImmunoCine Immunotherapy fits within this spectrum.
People who loathe chemotherapy and radiation often opine that “Big Pharma” is to blame, and that money drives the paradigm. This is only partially factual. Though ImmunoCine has no real desire to defend “Big Pharma,” the truth is that they can only influence what Standard of Care (SoC) is, but not dictate it. In other words, they continue to pour money into developing, advancing, and promoting drugs such as chemotherapies to become approved as SoC, but are not in charge of the approving. For that, it falls to the FDA, a wide-ranging team of scientists and doctors who have no financial interest in the companies promoting their products. They are to look at the data, determine relative safety and effectiveness, risk vs reward, and decide as to whether a treatment should be the standard or even offered at all.
The amount of data they tend to require is substantial, requires years of development and research, and can literally cost hundreds of millions of dollars to get to a stage of potential approval. For this reason, usually the only entities which can afford to do that are “Big Pharma,” which is why they have a strong influence. But again, their treatment option must still meet muster when analyzed independently and more trials than not lead to FDA rejection.
The SoC in the USA is overseen by the FDA and medical field, with reasonably heavy, but usually manageable, influence from “Big Pharma” and insurance companies. This does not mean that SoC is always the right treatment for a diagnosis, but somewhere along the way it did have to pass significant hurdles to show benefit on the average. No one should forego a good SoC option (if it exists) simply because they despise “Big Pharma,” and ImmunoCine will always support conducting thorough review of all options as it pertains to a specific patient.
To be transparent at the beginning, the goal here is not to denigrate either treatment category (e.g., standard or alternative), but it is important to know how these terms actually apply. We’ve reasonably covered “Standard” as a treatment that has passed the scientific and clinical rigors required by diplomatic governing bodies and that has shown a degree of reward despite the risk. Medical professionals at most major institutions are only allowed to offer the SoC, even if that means nothing more than palliative care until the end. This may seem ludicrous to some. But to be fair, many-to-most doctors are also not going to be able to tell what unapproved treatment options out there are “real” or “fake,” and thus it becomes hard to know what can be safely recommended.
The term “Alternative” to some often brings about pictures of Voodoo, witchcraft, snake oil, scams, and overall, a category not even worth review. And though this is an extreme viewpoint, it is not without merit. The truth is, there are essentially no thresholds to be met for something to be classified as an “Alternative Treatment.” Clinical trials, scientific publications, and mechanistic understanding are not required. Any person could theoretically sell “magical water” online as a “treatment for cancer,” and thus the justifiable skepticism. And a patient would be fair to ask, “If this treatment is so amazing, why wouldn’t you go through the rigors of the FDA approval process so that you could tap into the deep pockets of the insurance companies?”
But a fairer description of “Alternative Treatment” is any treatment that has not yet been FDA (or equivalently) approved. This includes real sciences and treatment options that just simply haven’t made it through the decade(s) or so of work needed to achieve that elusive allowance. Therefore, it is very important while doing your due diligence that you do not immediately throw out the baby with the bathwater. Though many in this category are unproven and “fake,” by definition the “treatments of the future” all have to begin as an “Alternative” option. The ImmunoCine request here is to dig deeper!
Though there will always have to be a leap of faith of some sort, there are a few due diligence items worth checking off when researching into different treatment options that have not yet been FDA approved.
Now at this point, there will be predominately 2 different types of groups within the Alternative Care space. One group will be essentially a ‘middle man’ borrowing science from others and offering treatment options that are not, per se, their own. The other group will tend to be the innovative force behind the scientific offering and will be offering a treatment option they know intimately. In this case, they will often include the authors (in some capacity) that are germane to several of the scientific/medical publications in that space which should provide some degree of comfort.
The purpose here is not to say that one group is better than the other, and they can both have their place. If the goal of a particular patient is to find a group with many different options, then you would be better off with the first type of group. If the goal of that patient is to find a more intensely studied and understood treatment option being overseen by the experts, then the second group would be ideal.
For them, the smarter and more lucrative play is to allow the little guy with the Alternative Treatment to de-risk the product by conducting the studies and the trials needed, and then swoop in and purchase it. An extremely large number to the small company is often a rounding error to the large one.
ImmunoCine has taken all of these things into account, and many were driving forces behind the passion and urgency to set up our own treatment center. This is not to say that no one else is doing it correctly, but just to say that you can feel confident in choosing ImmunoCine and we always welcome thorough due diligence.
Clinical Trials and the Standard Process
New and Advanced Technology
Credentials and Integrity
True Medical Review and Customization
“Alternative Treatment” is merely too broad a term to cover such a category. There are treatments that would never find approval due to either a lack of safety or lack of efficacy, and there are treatments that have not been approved yet because that process takes time, but that might be perfectly safe, efficacious, and legitimate to potentially help a patient. And though we will not speak for others, ImmunoCine will always welcome a patient’s questions and due diligence when studying our treatment option for them. Please don’t hesitate to reach out when and if needed.
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