Email to and from Dr. Slavin

Dear Ms. Lowry,

Indeed, we are now in the process of clinical application of innovative modalities based on immunotherapy and other personalized approaches for the treatment of cancer in patients that are resistant to conventional anti-cancer modalities or with metastatic disease not expected to be cured by conventional anti-cancer agents. Our methods focus on using a two-step approach:

[1] Conventional tumor debulking modalities (surgery, radiation therapy and conventional chemotherapy, which in your case may have been already exhausted;

[2] Application of innovative yet experimental modalities involving allogeneic cell therapy with in vitro activated anti-cancer effector cells, other selective anti-cancer agents not excluding newer compounds targeting cancer specific intra-cellular signal transduction pathways, treatment with cancer-seeking viruses and using personalized anti-cancer vaccines. As a rule, we prefer to treat patients with poor long-term prognosis but at a stage when they are still in good clinical condition, preferably at a stage of minimal residual disease. We prefer to deny treatment for patients with poor performance status with end stage and bulky disease, with anticipated short life expectancy that may not allow sufficient time for immunotherapy to be effective, thus avoiding false hopes, frustration and unnecessary expenses. Yet, if the general patient’s condition (performance status) is still reasonably good, despite advanced disease, and the patient and family are eager to exploit every possible modality, can afford it without sacrificing unavailable means, understand the experimental nature of our procedures and also willing to accept a loss in case we cannot do the impossible, we may be willing to try, but only after receiving the full details and making sure the patient fulfils the minimum requirements for any of the ongoing protocols. In case the patient wishes to proceed corresponding with our center before making actual decisions, realizing that many of our unique treatment options are highly experimental, we will be glad to do the best we can. In general, our approach is personalized and therefore, we need to characterize the details of each tumor because our approach is both tumor-specific and patient-specific. Unfortunately, now in my new location in Tel Aviv at the International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer (ICTC), I am overloaded with requests for consultations from all over the world, so I have to be selective since it takes much of my time to review each request and provide a personalized treatment plan. Therefore, in case you wish to proceed with the consultation over emails I will need your most recent CDs and then spend much time with additional information I will need, so all of this means more of my time. In that case I will have to charge for this consultation a global fee for the time I will need to spend for reviewing the case, and then provide the patient and/ or the treating physician with my final recommendations, with fully detailed explanations of procedures that may be applicable at our center. In case the would like to proceed, electronic transfer of consultation fee should be made addressed to Biotherapy International (not to Prof. Shimon Slavin), as follows:  (censored). Here is my address for CDs, medical report and any additional hard copies of relevant materials (please avoid sending piles of irrelevant old blood tests and full copies of patient’s chart): Shimon Slavin M.D.Professor of MedicineInternational Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer (ICTC)At the Tel Aviv Medical Center, 6 Weizman Street, Tel Aviv 64239 Israel

 On 12 Dec 2007, at 02:07, Christine Lowry wrote:  Dear Doctor Slavin:  My new doctor, Dr. Dunphy, of San Francisco, told me about you and your groundbreaking work using immunology techniques to attempt to treat cancer. I am very interested in seeing if I can get treated.  I am stage IV Colon Cancer, diagnosed at stage IIIb in May of 2005 which as since spread (twice now) to the liver, possibly pelvis and possibly lungs (they got that info from a Petscan so its the best they have to go with). I have had a sigiostomy (I know I butchered that word but I’m hoping you know what I’m trying to say, removal of some of the lower colon). That was followed by chemo (Folfox), but the cancer came back three months later as a 5-1/2″ cyst in my pelvis which was removed by Dr. Garcia-Aguilar, a great surgeon.  After the second surgery I had radiation along with oral chemo (Xoloda), but it came back four months after the radiation to my liver and lungs. I bet you’ve heard this story a lot.   Day by day I feel healthy, and do a lot (I have a radio show on a  local radio station and have just started a blog for cancer patients to use as a clearing house about various cancer treatments, its so hard to find out what is out there and the veracity of any treatment).  I had to cut my last chemotherapy session short as I couldn’t take this third series of chemotherapy, my body is starting to shut down. Obviously this treatment is not working and the doctors have given me about until the middle of next year to live, but I plan on making it longer than that. Currently I am under Dr. Dunphy’s care, but I am writing to you to see if you are taking on any more patients and what being your patient entails (i.e. how long the treatment lasts, is it all done in Israel, information like that).   My doctor estimated that you charge around $18,000 for this, is that about right? Would you have any payment plans as after two years of this cancer my resources are depleted (I’m sure you’ve heard that one too). BUT, I am a tough old bird (54) and know that I can get the money together somehow and am not in the habit of making  promises I can’t keep.  Do you think there is a chance you can help me? If not is there anyone else you know in the U.S. who could do what you are doing? (I am in Northern California).  Thank you for reading this. Thank you for researching cancer.  Thank you for following a different plan from the normal path to research; because I can vouch that surgery and chemotherapy don’t work too well. Bless you and here’s hoping! Christine Lowry

PS: If you cannot help me as a patient would it be possible for me to write you occasionally so that I can get more information about your research to tell people about you on my blog? I have mentioned you on my blog already (hope you don’t mind!) but I don’t quite understand how this all works, I’m not dumb just no medical background and it would be great if people could understand this better.

Advertisements

24 comments so far

  1. music on

    very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

  2. maureen on

    I am trying to track down Dr. Slavin Shimon’s email address. I only have his old one from when he was at Hadassah. Do you have a current one?
    Thank you for your help.

  3. Joy on

    Hello I was a patient of him back in 1993…i had a bonemarrow transplant. He’s a wonderful doctor.

  4. Mary on

    I, too, am trying to track down Dr. Slavin’s email address for my sister-in-law who has ovarian cancer. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  5. Vijay Ramanan on

    Can i also have Dr.Slavin’s new email address.

  6. Arik on

    The same for me. i’m looking for prof. Slavin email in the new hospital. does anybody know how to get it? i called the hospital but i cannot find him and I need to talk to him for my little nephew.

    Pls help me

  7. Don Margolis on

    Dr Slavin is on vacation at the moment.

    slavinmd@gmail.com

    Don Margolis
    +1 215 764 6312
    http://www.donmargolis.com

    Founder & Chairman
    The International Center for
    Adult Stem Cell Education

  8. gerald scheer on

    i was treated by dr slavin for colorectal cancer his email is slavinMD@gmail.com

  9. Veronica on

    Has anyone had success with Dr. Slavin’s treatment for late stage cancers?

    Gerald – you mentioned you were a patient for colon cancer. Do you mind sharing your experience?

  10. jeff klapper on

    looking for some add’l feedback on dr. slavin and his treatment protocols. what’s involved, side effects, efficacy, costs, length of stay in israel, frequency of treatment, etc. looking to prolong life for a 45 yr old husband and father of three.

  11. Reuven Lev-Tov on

    After completing conventional radiation & chemotherapy in U.S. in 2004 for squamous cell carcinoma of tonsil (T-4) with local spread, I underwent Prof. Slavin’s immunotherapy treatment at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. He used lymphocytes from my sister (who purposely was not a perfect HLA match), which lymphocytes were worked up in the laboratory so as to be capable of targeting any residual cancer cells. This required a 3-week stay in Israel. This was Feb., 2005. Now, three-and-a-half years later, even though, statistically, head & neck cancers have a high rate of recurrence, my periodically done pet/cat scans show no recurrence so far.

  12. jeff klapper on

    Reuven,
    that sounds incredible. any info on metastatic (bladder) cancers? is this a legitimate viable option? judging from your awesome results, it certainly seems to be. i’m just really nervous, and the clock is ticking louder each and every day. any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Reuven Lev-Tov on

    I forgot to mention side-effects of Slavin’s immunotherapy: During the 3 weeks of treatment, I went through fever and chills, but it was nowhere near as bad as the side-effects from chemo & radiation.

    Responding to Jeff Klapper: I don’t know whether Prof. Slavin’s immunotherapy has been used on patients with bladder cancer. Certainly, patients have come for this treatment with many different types of cancer. As you can see, though, from Prof. Slavin’s letter, he would prefer patients at a minimum stage of residual disease. (He asked me, for example, not to come to Israel for treatment until I had completed the chemotherapy & radiation therapy, by which time my Pet/CT scan wasn’t showing any cancer activity anywhere–even though, statistically, there were probably clumps of cancer cells too few to register on a Pet/CT).

  14. Reuven Lev-Tov on

    Jeff–

    I was just looking at a website of the new location at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv for Prof. Slavin’s immunotherapy center and maybe the following words from it will answer your question:

    The ICTC will consist of state of the art technologies to procure, select and manipulate blood, bone marrow and cord blood derived stem cells and lymphocytes for adoptive cell-mediated immunotherapy of cancer, induction of transplantation tolerance to bone marrow and organ allografts and regulation of autoimmune diseases. For cancer patients the center will provide personalized anti-cancer modalities, not excluding allogeneic stem cell transplantation focusing on the use of haploidentically mismatched stem cells, following reduced intensity conditioning, using tumor cell vaccines and oncolytic viruses for selective targeting of residual cancer cells in patients with metastatic disease. Our goal is to try and cure cancer by eradication of invisible minimal residual disease in high risk patients at an early stage of the disease. For patients with recurrent metastatic disease an attempt will be made to achieve a transient stage of minimal residual disease by conventional or high dose chemotherapy supported by autologous stem cell transplantation and then attempt to delay, control or possibly eradicate residual disease with targeted immunotherapy. A multi-disciplinary approach for regenerative medicine is currently in progress. The facility started operation in January 2008.

    Here are phone nos. for Prof. Slavin at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv: 011-972-3-6974010 or 011-972-3-6973592. He’s usually there from 8:30 A.M.–4:00 P.M., Sun.-Thurs.

  15. Emma on

    Has anyone been involved with Dr. Slavin’s recent work with MS?

    • Kelly on

      I am interested in the MS work also? Any news?

  16. d. Tavares on

    Does anyone know if there are any stem cell treatment centers anywhere in the world that do not require chemo, radiation and de-bulking first? I have a 42 year old brother with hemangio-pericytoma a spindle celled SFT – Sarcoma. He is the father of an 18 month old.

  17. Ryan Noreen on

    Does anyone know the best way to contact Dr. Slavin. I have emailed him and I haven’t heard anything back. Maybe he is on vaccation.

  18. erica on

    Hi all, I just found this blog and would like to share my very negative experience with Dr. Slavin. Like every one else he asked me to send him $400 for his time and he promised to provide me with a detailed report that will contain procedures and directions for my physician. After he received $400 (vi wire transfer) and all my medical records, including CT scans, doctors reposts, test results etc he start asking for more and more information without providing anything back (I really doubt that he actually read everything I sent to him). As of today – after I sent him a significant amount of $ I still don’t have anything valuable back and everything he sent to me either doesn’t make any sense to my physician (and I talked to number of other doctors) or is a basic description of what he potentially can do at his hospital at the ridicules amount of $ that he want me to pay. I would like to share more details with all of you but would like to ask if anyone else experienced the same. If you like, you can email me directly: erica.jonson@yahoo.com and I can send you more information that I received from Dr. Slavin absolutely free so you can review it before making next step.

  19. erica on

    check out this URL, a lot of good info about Dr. Slavin http://shimonslavin.synthasite.com

  20. Wry on

    This is very disturbing about Slavin. Anyone else have something to add?

  21. EJ on

    This is one of his standard emails, he sent to me after I provided all the medical records to him and pay him significant amount of $. He didn’t even bother to read the information I sent him. How many of you receive something similar? Please speak up

    “Sorry for a late reply. I was away from my office due to my recent visit to several American centers and now I am answering from Paris France. I will be back in my office October 10th.
    Although you provided good information in previous emails, due to the fact that our approach is personalized, there are more details I need in order to decide how bet to try and attack residual cancer cells, as will be explained below.

    Please specify: Is there another CT or PET/CT that shows that the peritoneal implants responded so well to chemotherapy? And if so, what was the date of the latest CT or PET/CT?

    As I already told you earlier, our methods focus on using a two-step approach:

    [1] Conventional tumor debulking modalities (surgery, radiation therapy and conventional chemotherapy, which in your case were apparently already exhausted;

    [2] Application of innovative yet experimental modalities involving allogeneic cell therapy with in vitro activated anti-cancer effector cells, other selective anti-cancer agents not excluding newer compounds targeting cancer specific intra-cellular signal transduction pathways, treatment with cancer-seeking viruses and using personalized anti-cancer vaccines.

    As a rule, we prefer to treat patients with poor long-term prognosis when they are at a stage when they are still in good clinical condition, preferably at a stage of minimal residual disease, following completion of conventional anti-cancer modalities to make sure that the patient will benefit from both conventional and experimental approaches, to maximize the chance of control of cancer cells by chemotherapy and immunotherapy and other targeted approaches.

    Please check the following, consult your physicians, and pay close attention to all details because the more we know about the cancer cells and the patient the more we may be able to help because our approach is patient tailor-made:

    1. Please put full name of the patient in future correspondence (LAST, first) in the SUBJECT section of the email for proper filing in my computer.

    2. This part is difficult and may require explanations from your treating oncologist after he will read it: Whenever applicable, I need to have the tumor markers (e.g. epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) over-expressed by many cancer cell types, especially pancreas, but also including gastric, colorectal, breast, ovary, prostate, renal, lung and many other types of cancers, occasionally including sarcoma. If patient’s cancer cells are positive for EpCAM (possibly in your case), there may be additional interesting treatment options available, because such tumor markers may make it possible to target such tumor cells that over-express EpCAM with one of our available bi-specific antibodies. We now have a unique bi-specific antibody with 3 binding sites. Our bi-specific antibody consists of 2 arms (Fab) and a tail (Fc). The arms of the antibody consist of anti-CD3 and anti-EpCAM. The tail of this antibody can bind to receptors (Fc receptors) expressed by activated natural killer (NK) cells, monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils that can participate in killing cancer cells, as well as dendritic cells (DC) that play a key role in initiating every immune response. Taken together, such bi-specific antibody can be attached to allogeneic (foreign) lymphocytes obtained from any mismatched family member activated to become professional killer cells in vitro (in clean rooms), including T lymphocytes expressing CD3 and activated NK cells expressing Fc receptor, thus targeting and resulting in effective killing of each cancer cell expressing EpCAM with two killer cells concomitantly (allogeneic T cells and NK cells) following infusion of the mixture. This is the so-called “targeted missile” approach because the two killer cells home selectively to cancer cells through binding to EpCAM, and this is why we recommend to type cancer cells of patients that may be eligible for such treatment. Furthermore, due to the fact that patient’s own DC functioning as antigen presenting cells also express the Fc receptor, such cells may also bind to the complex at the Fc tail of the bi-specific antibody. When DC serving as antigen-presenting cells are attached to the cancer cells on the one hand and to T cells (allogeneic or patient’s own) on the other, an immune response against tumor antigens may be induced by T cells that may learn to recognize and respond against cancer antigens processed by the DC prior to presentation to the responding T cells, thus possibly resulting in development of long-lasting immunity against residual tumor cells by patient’s own immune system cells, even after the process of direct killing by allogeneic killer cells activated in vitro is terminated.

    We have similar bi-specific antibodies against Her-2/neu and CD3, so we can attack in a similar way cancer cells over-expressing Her-2/neu (frequently expressed in breast cancer, ovary cancer and in some patients with other cancers as well). Treatment against Her-2/neu positive cancer cells is very effective so it is important to test the biopsy or surgical materials for Her-2/neu in every case, because the relevant antibody or preferably the bi-specific antibody cancer be used alone or in conjunction with mismatched killer cells and the bi-specific antibody will target the killer cells (killer T cells and NK cells) to the cancer cells.

    Unfortunately, testing for EpCAM may not be available at your place. In order to test a tumor sample for EpCAM, we need a paraffin block which should be available at the department of pathology where diagnosis was done, or unstained sections prepared from that block, and then we can send the sample to a specialized laboratory and they will test for EpCAM and if necessary. The cost of testing for EpCAM, Her-2/neu and other useful markers is shown below.

    4. I also recommend testing for the additional markers (we can do them all using the same paraffin blocks that can be obtained from the department of pathology where the diagnosis was done or where a biopsy was taken): VEGF; EGFR; c-KIT; and PDGFR. If any of these markers are positive, additional treatment may be recommended in an attempt to maximize the effects of treatment by targeting the cancer cells and the supporting blood vessels that are essential for growth of metastases.

    Additional information regarding cost for testing the phenotype of the cancer cells and more information to explain why we need those tests is provided in an attached document named ONCOTEST, shown below:

    5. Since a vaccine may be considered for induction of anti-cancer immunity aiming for induction of an ongoing immune response against cancer antigens, we need the results of tissue typing of the patient (HLA-A, B, C, DR or DRB1). This can be done in many large academic hospitals, especially those involved in bone marrow or organ transplantation, and involves a simple blood test. Unique patient-tailored vaccines are prepared in full consideration of patient’s tissue typing so once we get the results of tissue typing we will be able to see if a suitable vaccine can be prepared for the patient.

    For patients not yet operated or who are due for a surgical procedure, it is advisable to ask the surgeon to cryopreserve as many tumor cells as possible, because such cells can be used for preparation of autologous tumor cell vaccine.

    6. If the patient is due for any debulking surgical procedure, or even aspiration of pleural effusion or ascites, please remember that we strongly recommend to freeze as many cancer cells as possible because they may be used for preparation of a vaccine in the future.

    7. If not included in the medical report, I need information on the patient’s performance status (evaluation of things she can or cannot do: Bed-ridden or mobile? Performance of day-to-day functions? Appetite? Weight loss? Appearance (looks sick or looks normal)? Work (works full time; works part time; normally performing house-wife, etc). For elderly patients I need to know if they appear biologically younger than their actual age or do they look older than their age.. In other words, I need enough information to be able to visualize the patient as close as possible to reality, as if the patient were in front of me. In this regards, a few good electronic photos sent as attachments can be very helpful.

    8. We need information about available family members and their age (siblings from the same mother and father). For adult patients I need information about children and their age. For pediatric patients I need information about the age of their parents. This information is required because we frequently use blood cells (lymphocytes) that can be obtained from family members as tools for cell-mediated immunotherapy. Occasionally, it is important to know if family members may be available for stem cell transplantation if needed or for more intensive allogeneic cell-mediated immunotherapy of resistant cancer.

    Treatment of cancer with any of the aforementioned approaches or combinations thereof, can be considered on an outpatient basis for patients treated at a stage of minimal residual disease, following surgery or successful conventional chemotherapy, or much more effectively, at least theoretically, following prior autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT) that can be considered as a preliminary step in order to accomplish a stage of minimal residual disease. For patients with bulky disease, this approach may not be sufficiently effective because donor cells expected to be rejected a few days after infusion will not have enough time to eliminate all tumor cells. For such patients with evidence of disease, combination of modalities should be considered, such as using oncolytic anti-cancer viruses, anti-cancer toxins (Coley’s fluid), or other anti-cancer modalities based on an attempt to induce apoptosis of cancer cells. For patients with chemotherapy-responsive disease autologous SCT may be sometimes recommended in order to maximize the therapeutic benefits of available anti-cancer modalities and then apply one of the immunotherapy procedures at the stage of minimal residual disease. Rarely, we may recommend allogeneic stem cell transplantation using donor stem cells obtained from half-matched family member (sibling or matched unrelated donor) or half-matched family member, using reduced intensity conditioning, because following acceptance of donor stem cells, donor lymphocytes that can be used to kill cancer cells will circulate permanently in the patient’s system and thus may eradicate all tumor cells over a long period of time.

    Once we receive answers to all of the aforementioned items, the more the better, we will be able to provide you and/or your treating physician our optimal recommendations.
    – Show quoted text –

    Shimon Slavin MD
    Professor & Chairman
    Medical & Scientific Director,
    International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer (ICTC)
    At the Tel Aviv Medical Center
    6 Weizman Street
    Tel Aviv 64239
    Israel”

  22. caroline on

    has anyone had any experience with dr slavin treating children with autism?

  23. Don on

    Has anyone been actually treated by Dr Slavin, or is it all just correspondence for a fee? If treated, what were the results and costs? A lot of what he says seems to make sense but talk alone does not help.

    Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: