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Dendritic Vaccine

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4 Responses to "Dendritic Vaccine"

I have recently returned from Dr. Nesselhut’s clinic in Duderstadt, Germany where I received Dendritic Cell Vaccine for stage IV melanoma. If you are considering this form of therapy you might find an account of my experience helpful.

First and foremost, the entire experience was very positive. Dr. Nesselhut and his son (who is also a doctor at the clinic) are extremely bright, well trained physicians who are very caring and good at communicating. The clinic provides very detailed and accurate travel information to prospective patients which makes the trip to Duderstadt relatively stress free.

I stayed at the Zum Lowen Hotel which is a five minute walk from the clinic. The hotel is very nice, has good food and a helpful english-speaking staff. It is quite likely that you will meet other clinic patients staying at the hotel as Dr. Nesselhut has a large international clientele.

The clinic staff is also english speaking and very friendly. The leukapherese procedure involves inserting two IV lines but other than that is totally painless. In fact I watched a hilarious DVD and laughed during the entire procedure.

Duderstadt is an extremely picturesque little town. It would probably become boring to stay there for a whole week while the vaccine is being made so if you feel well enough to travel…I would reccommend it. You can either train to other cities or fly as I did (to Rome!) on a low cost airline from Hanover.

The thing I was most uncertain about was how many days to allow for this trip. The following itinerary proved to be just right.
Day 1…Overnight flight to Frankfurt.
Day 2…Travel to Duderstadt and meeting with Dr. Nesselhut at Clinic.
Day 3…Leukapheresis
Day 4…Flight to Rome from Hanover
Days 5-8…Rome
Day 9…Return to Duderstadt and appointment with Dr. Nesselhut
Day 10…Vaccination (with flu like symptoms for about 16 hours)
Day 11…Travel to Frankfurt Airport Hotel
Day 12…Return morning flight to US

One thing I should mention is that each person’s treatment will be tailored to his or her needs. I met one patient who was just staying briefly for the leukapheresis and then returning to NYC for the first vaccination and another patient who was spending several weeks in Duderstadt and receiving other treatments from Dr. Nesselhut.

To date I have had one follow-up vaccination with Dr. Chang is NYC. To my delight, Dr. Nesselhut who transports the vaccine on a monthly basis was present for that office visit. I continue to feel well and am very hopeful about this treatment. I am unbelieveably grateful to both Dr. Chang and Dr. Nesselhut for their valiant collaboration in making this therapy available.

In 1999 I was diagnosed with a very difficult, stage 4 base-of-tongue squamous cell carcinoma. I already had some difficulty breathing and opted for the usual chemotherapy and radiation to alleviate symptoms. At the same time I was introduced to Dr. Chang, who allowed me to make informed decisions through his explanations and boosted me with herbs and medicines to offset the effects of the conventional therapies I was undergoing.

In 2003 I was diagnosed with a recurrence and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center basically told be to get my affairs in order for my remaining six months to a year. When I brought the news to Dr. Chang, feeling nothing but doom, he was able to give me hope with information on what potential therapies might help me. This was not to be the last time.

I opted to try out the Dendritic cell “vaccines” that at the time required a trip to Germany for each dose. As difficult as my condition was, the therapy has been able to at least slow progression of the disease, evidenced by my continued existence. Best of all, the doctors continue to work on and improve their approach for optimum results.

My story is long and complicated–which is further evidence of the beneficial association with Dr. Chang and associates.

Thank you to the patients who left the comments below. I had a similar experience to Marcia in Germany.

After an initial diagnosis of Stage 1C endometrial carcinoma and subsequent hysterectomy/radiation in January 2005, the cancer returned in March 2007 as Stage 4 with lung metastases. I don’t have the disease any place else but my lungs and mainly the right side. I did chemo until September 2008 when a drug called Doxil gave me pneumonia! Needless to day, I decided to look at options other than chemo.

I had been researching dendritic cell vaccine at the suggestion of a doctor of integrative medicine I see here on the West Coast. He mentioned a well-known doctor from Argentina who has an excellent reputation but extremely high costs. My husband did some Internet research and found out about Dr. Chang’s association with the German Institute of Tumor Therapy.

We went to Duderstadt in December where I had my white cells harvested and my first vaccine injection. Since then I have had two more injections in New York City. Since I live in California, I have to fly to NYC where I stay with my husband’s mother–the only way I could afford this treatment.

So far the treatment has produced good results. There is a tumor marker test for gynecological cancers called CA-125. Before Germany it had climbed to an all-time high of 188. A week after the first injection it dropped to 143. A little more than a month later it was 79. I had a CT scan the first week in January that was ambiguous. It showed slight progression in both left and right lungs. But it also covered a period that included two weeks before our trip to Germany. So in early February I had another scan. It showed a slight reduction of the left lung nodules and a halt to progression of the larger right lung nodules. Dr. Chang and Dr. Nesselhut said sometimes the scans lag behind the CA-125 tumor marker numbers. I’ll have another scan after the fourth injection in March. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I am so grateful to Dr. Chang and Meridian Medical for arranging this wonderful collaboration with the German doctors. It is the only way to get dendritic treatment on US soil!

If you want to contact me, please do it through Dr. Chang.

My cancer was Her2+ breast and I decided on no chemo and no radiation after laser extraction by Dr. Ansanelli in NYC. I am currently being treated with the dendritic cell vaccinations, having had no recurrence and no adverse reactions after a second year of dendritic treatments. I am 67 years old and feel great. I am thankful for the collaboration of Dr. Chang and Dr. Nesselhut.

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