Supporting the Immune System

Supporting the Immune System 

Yes, the time has finally come. The treatment of metastatic disease has shifted dramatically in the past number of years from trying to kill cancer cells, to promoting the immune system to fight the cancer.

The relationship between cancer and the immune system has been known since the late 1800s when clinician researchers Paul Ehrlich and William Coley proposed that the immune system is involved in the development and cure of malignant diseases.

Apart from red blood cells, all cells in the human body express what are known as MHC-I molecules on their surfaces, aiding the immune system’s recognition of “self” versus “non-self”. In other words, our immune cells look for the patterns on the outside of cells, recognizing the patterns (MHC-1 molecules) of our own cells, thereby able to distinguish the different patterns of “non-self” cells like those of viruses, bacteria, and weird-looking cancer cells. Since cancer cells undergo mutations, they too can present abnormal proteins on their cell surfaces as in viral infections, allowing for destruction.

However, before a cancer cell has completed its “neoplastic transformation”, cancer cells may be seen as “self” by the immune system when they are still low grade and looking a lot like the “self” cells from which they came.

A part of our job is to ensure that our patient’s immune systems are functioning well, and that they have adequate amounts of the necessary immune cells needed to find (immunosurveillance) and get rid of the cancer cells (immunoediting). We also work with our patients to ensure they have a healthy microbiome, which we know is critical for the functioning of our immune system, and even the efficacy of the new powerful checkpoint inhibitors.

Several therapies available at the IHC CCC augment immune function, the number of required immune cells, and the recognition of cancer cells as “non-self”. Here are but a few of the options we offer:

  1. Fever Therapy to stimulate the entire immune response.
  2. Loco-Regional Hyperthermia which can change the patterns of the cancer cells (via heat shock proteins) making them more “visible” to the immune system.
  3. Intravenous Vitamin C
  4. Mistletoe lectin therapy
  5. Ozone therapy
  6. Optimizing the microbiome
  7. Medicinal mushrooms such as turkey tail, reishi, cordyceps, agaricus, and others.
  8. AHCC (ImmPower) which increases natural killer cells.
  9. Vaccines

For a quick read on the immune system and cancer, check out my easy to read book Arming the Immune System (

Dr. Gurdev Parmar, ND, FABNO(USA)

Founder & Medical Director

Integrated Health Clinic Cancer Care Centre