The Forgotten Organ: the Spleen and Spleen Peptide Therapy

The Forgotten Organ: the Spleen and Spleen Peptide Therapy

Febuary 7, 2020

The Forgotten Organ: the Spleen and Spleen Peptide Therapy

Spleen – Structure and Function

The spleen is located in the left hypochondriac region of the abdomen between the fundus of the stomach and diaphragm. In adults, it is approximately 12 cm long, 7 cm wide, and 3 cm in thickness, and weighs around 150-250 g. The splenic artery, splenic vein, efferent lymphatic vessels and splenic nerve plexus pass through the hilus, which is a depressed area in the capsule.1, 2, 3

The spleen is the largest organ of the lymphatic system and contributes to a fully operational immune system as it combines the innate and adaptive immune system in a uniquely organized way. The structure of the spleen enables it to remove older red blood cells from circulation and leads to the efficient removal of blood-borne microorganisms and cellular debris. This function, in combination with a highly organized lymphoid compartment, makes the spleen the most important organ for antibacterial and antifungal immune reactivity.

The spleen is an organ which not only effectively uses its own immune cells but also mobilizes the body’s immune cells for immune surveillance and for the protection of other vital organs including the heart, kidney and brain.4, 5, 6, 7 The spleen is prone to physical injury, infections, and various immunological conditions including cancers. Enlargement of the spleen or splenomegaly may occur due to anemia, infections, inflammation, cancer, metabolic disorders, and liver diseases.

The spleen has four important structures:

  • capsule,

  • red pulp,

  • white pulp,

  • and marginal zone.

Each area shows unique morphological structure and is involved in performing specific physiological functions. The capsule contains dense connective tissues, elastic and smooth muscle fibers, and sympathetic nerve fibers from the splenic nerve plexus. The cells which play an important role in spleen functions are macrophages, monocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, and B- and T-cells.

Red Pulp

Red pulp constitutes about 70% of the total splenic volume in adults and contains numerous sinuses which are filled with blood, rich in platelets. Between the sinuses are spongy cellular cords (cords of Billroth), made up of reticular fibers and reticular cells intermingled with several immune cells, such as macrophages, monocytes, granulocytes, B-cells, T-cells and plasma cells. In the red pulp, pathogens and cellular debris, as well as aging erythrocytes, are efficiently removed from the blood by macrophages, which are abundant in this compartment. These macrophages are then well equipped to recycle iron from the erythrocytes. Several red pulp specific functions occur in the spleen including blood filtration, antigenic stimulation and proliferation of B- and T-cells and production of antibodies of different specifications.

The Marginal Zone

The marginal zone forms a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune response, because the macrophages in this region, which express specific pattern-recognition receptors, can efficiently take up blood-borne pathogens. The specific subset of B-cells in this region, the marginal-zone B-cells, can be activated by these macrophages or can directly respond to blood-borne pathogens, after which they become antigen-presenting cells or IgM-producing plasma cells. Entry of activated dendritic cells or marginal-zone B-cells to the white pulp can initiate an adaptive immune response through activation of T-cells, which then migrate to the edge of the B-cell follicles and provide help to B-cells.

Immunological activation of B-cells occurs in the marginal zone as a result of antigenic encounter.8 Many lymphocytes in the marginal zone migrate into respective T- and B areas. The marginal zone contains the highest concentration of blood antigens of any other area in the spleen because splenic arterial blood empties into the marginal zone. Marginal zone B-cells show somatic hypermutation, clonal expansion and B-cell positive selection.9, 10 B-cell clonal expansion also occurs in the germinal center of the B-cell follicle following antigenic stimulation.

White Pulp

The white pulp is a lymphocyte rich area which contains periarterial lymphatic sheath (PALS) around the arterial vessels – particularly around the central artery and central arterioles, follicles and loose lymphatic tissues. The PALS is a sheath of lymphocytes mostly CD4+ T-cells that envelope the central arterial vessels. The follicles not only contain B-cells, but also T-cells, which are found adjacent to the PALS. Significant immunological activities and cell trafficking and cross-talk between various immune cells occur. Bordering the PALS and the follicles is the marginal zone, which has few lymphocytes but numerous macrophages and antigen presenting cells (APCs).

The white pulp is a highly organized lymphoid region where adaptive immune responses can be initiated. It is composed of separate areas for B-cells and T-cells, which are surrounded by the marginal zone – a region that contains discrete subsets of macrophages and B-cells. Whereas blood flows freely through the marginal zone, the white pulp is excluded from the bloodstream, and specific signals are required for entry.

Entry of leukocytes to the white pulp requires activation of G-protein-coupled receptors, a process which is reminiscent of the multistep extravasation process that has been described for leukocytes leaving the bloodstream and entering the lymph nodes or sites of inflammation.

The organization of the white pulp into distinct areas, which promotes efficient interaction of immune system cells, is coordinated by the expression of chemokines, which attract the specific lymphoid subsets to the appropriate microdomains. In addition, the organization of both the white pulp and the marginal zone is under strict control of lipid mediators and adhesion molecules, as well as chemokines, all of which help the specific cellular subsets be retained within their compartments. Expression of these factors is, in turn, controlled by activation of the lymphotoxin-β receptor and tumor-necrosis-factor receptor-1, but it might also involve additional signaling receptors. Through this unique organization of its compartments, the spleen can mount complex adaptive immune responses, as well as effectively clear pathogens from the blood.

Spleen Peptides

For more than 50 years, splenic peptides have been used as an immunological supportive tumor therapy aimed at improving patients’ poor general state of health. Splenic peptides are obtained from porcine spleen. The main constituents of the active ingredients in splenic peptides are oligopeptides and polypeptides. However, depending on the method of manufacture, splenic peptide preparations may vary widely in their individual composition.

Spleen peptide preparations are primarily used in cancer therapy and immunotherapy in Europe and have a multitude of effects on the body. They can improve the supply of oxygen to the cells, for example, by up to 200%. As a result, an increase in the strength of the defenses can be expected and the lymphatic system also receives considerable stimulation. This, in turn, is important for detoxification of the body, e.g. particularly when fighting cancer cells. Spleen peptides also activate and stabilize numerous psycho-neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms. They show molecular similarities to neuropeptides and, like them, act on a wide variety of metabolic areas via hormones and cell messengers. This harmonizes and regulates the psycho-neuroendocrine and defense-regulating functions.

Spleen peptides can be used in a variety of conditions but are most notable for improving both immunity and cellular detoxification. They are indicated in defective or decreasing function of psycho-neuroendocrine immunological regulation, but particularly in degenerative diseases, menopausal symptoms, and allergy. Research, as well as practical therapeutic experience, also shows that the regular use of spleen peptides improves the regulatory action on body functions in numerous disorders. Another concomitant effect of spleen peptide therapy is that it is often possible to eliminate or considerably reduce dosages of other pharmaceuticals that cause side effects.

Certain splenic peptides have been shown to bind to specific receptors on the surface of white cells such as macrophages and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. This, in turn, stimulates their migration, phagocytic, bactericidal, and tumoricidal (antitumor) activity.11 Splenic peptides can restore immune functions damaged by radiation and chemotherapy. They stabilize the lymphocytic status and improve the patient’s general health.12

Commercial Spleen Peptide Preparations

Peptides are short chains of amino acid monomers linked by peptide (amide) bonds. Peptides are chemical messengers that are universal regulators and stabilizers of cell functions throughout the body. Peptides control cell growth, stabilize critical cell functions, and provide essential means for cells to communicate with each other. Peptides possess the unique action of serving to convey information from one cell to another. Without proper communication and coordination among all cells, molecules and organs of the immune system “network”, it cannot function properly.

Spleen peptides serve to regulate and stabilize the cells of the immune system. Several splenic peptide preparations are available in Europe for enhancing immune function, particularly after surgery, radiation therapy, and cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Most conventional U.S. oncologists will know little – if anything – about this type of peptide therapy. With no knowledge, most physicians will not recommend trying it, even though side effects are almost non-existent. Additionally, medical websites such as pharmaceutically oriented WebMD discourage patients from using spleen peptides and falsely claim that there is insufficient evidence for their use. In truth, research of injectable spleen peptide efficacy for numerous conditions has been both positive and extensive.13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33

One of the most researched spleen peptide preparations is Polyerga®. German drug regulatory authorities have approved this product for use in that country. Polyerga® is available in both oral form, as well as injectable, and is manufactured by HorFerVit Pharma GmbH. The oral form of Polyerga® is available as polypeptide tablets or oligopeptide capsules. 1 Dragee contains: oligo- and polypeptides from porcine spleen 100 mg. Recommended dosage according to the manufacturer is one tablet to be taken before meals, three times daily. An additional capsule may be taken every other day before a meal.

The injectable form of Polyerga® comes in 1 ml “Ampullen” (vial) and contains: oligopeptides from porcine spleen 30 μg.; phenol 0.05% as stabilizer, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, and water. Dosage is according to the individual and condition being treated. According to the manufacturer, a typical dosage is as follows: for one week from Monday – Friday administer 1 vial daily. Then for two weeks, three times a week, administer 1 vial. After that, administer 1 vial twice a week for three weeks.

Treatment recommendations by the German Society for Thymus Therapy

The German Society for Thymus Therapy has a slightly different schedule for injectable spleen peptides (see below).34 They recommend that spleen peptides should be administered as long-term therapy. Only in this way can the desired effects be achieved and maintained over a long period.

M = injection of 5 ml spleen peptides, total of 20 spleen peptide injections in 6 weeks, followed by transition to 1 injection per week every 14 days or once a month, depending on the status of the illness. After an intensive initial course of 20 injections over 6 weeks, booster intervals are fixed depending on the patient’s condition. Booster injections every 2 weeks have proved successful in chronic and geriatric conditions. The basic regime can be intensified in severe illness or extended for general preventive purposes.

Further administration of spleen peptides is determined on an individual case basis by the physician and depends on the patient’s condition and tolerance of therapy. Repeated treatment is recommended after 6 weeks or 3 months. In severe cases, long-term therapy where 1 vial of Polyerga® is administered 1-2 times a week may be considered.

The combination of thymic peptides and splenic peptides is useful in general immune deficiencies and reduced resistance during cancer treatment. While thymic peptides regulate T-lymphocytes and recruit new T-cells from the bone marrow, splenic peptides have a greater influence on the B-lymphocytic defenses. Hence, patients whose immune systems are suppressed due to radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapy are good candidates for spleen peptide therapy. These treatments can be used together or separately and, like all treatment plans, should be individualized to the patient’s condition.

Combination with other forms of treatment

The combination of thymic peptides (thymosin) and spleen peptides is useful in general immune deficiencies and reduced resistance. While thymic peptides regulate T-lymphocytes and recruit new T-cells from the bone marrow, spleen peptides have a greater influence on the B-lymphocytic defenses. These limit the overproduction of immunoglobulins. The German Society for Thymus Therapy recommends the following 10-week schedule for combined thymic peptides and spleen peptides.

M = injection of 5 ml spleen peptides; T = Thymus peptides

There are no restrictions regarding other treatment methods. Additional measures may include: dietary changes, supplementation with antioxidants – A, C, E, proteolytic enzymes, minerals – magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, neural therapy, etc.

Contraindications

Gynecological and androgenic tumors should not be treated with injectable spleen peptides until further research is performed. In pregnant women, caution is appropriate, as spleen peptides act on the hormonal system. In some diseases, the dosage of other drugs can be reduced during the course of spleen therapy. In diabetics, blood sugar levels should be monitored to recognize possible reductions of insulin etc. in good time. The same applies to patients with a tendency to overactive thyroid or goiter. Doses of thyroid hormones may possibly need to be reduced. Patients receiving cortisone or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can often be placed on lower doses. For patients being treated for gout, uric acid values should be monitored.

Unwanted effects

As with all medicines, hypersensitivity reactions can occur in predisposed individuals. They are almost never seen in patients receiving intramuscular injection of spleen peptides. However, to rule out the possibility of such a situation, a preliminary test should be performed with 0.1 ml spleen peptides before starting the course of injections.

References

Batyuk VS, Kovaleva SN. Flavonoids of Solidago canadensis and S. virgaurea. Chem Nat Compd 1985; 21: 533–534.

Budzianowski L et al. Flavonoids and leiocarposide in four Solidago taxa. Sci Pharm 1990; 58: 15–23.

Pietta P et al. High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of flavonol glycosides of Solidago virgaurea. J Chrom 1991; 558: 296–301.

Bader G et al. Zur quantitativen Bestimmung von Leiocarposid in Solidago virgaurea L. Pharmazie 1990; 45: 380–381.

Skrzypczak, L. U. T. O. S. L. A. W. A., and J. A. R. O. M. I. R. Budzianowski. Phenolic compounds in two Solidago L. species from in vitro culture. Acta Pol. Pharm 58 (2001): 277-281.

Choi, Sang Zin, Sang Un Choi, and Kang Ro Lee. Pytochemical constituents of the aerial parts from solidago virga-aurea var. gigantea. Archives of pharmacal research 27, no. 2 (2004): 164-168.

Bader, Gerd, Victor Wray, and Karl Hiller. The main saponins from the aerial parts and the roots of Solidago virgaurea subsp. virgaurea. Planta medica 61, no. 02 (1995): 158-161.

Anal. 32(4–5), 1045–1053. Bader G., Wray V., Hiller K., 1995. The main saponins from the aerial parts and the roots of Solidago virgaurea subsp. virgaurea. Planta Med. 61(2), 158–161.

Kaspers U et al. Diuretic effects of extracts and fractions obtained from different Solidago species. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 1998; 358: R495.

Yarnell, Eric. Botanical medicines for the urinary tract. World journal of urology 20, no. 5 (2002): 285-293.

Chodera, A., K. Dabrowska, A. Sloderbach, L. Skrzypczak, and J. Budzianowski. Effect of flavonoid fractions of Solidago virgaurea L on diuresis and levels of electrolytes. Acta poloniae pharmaceutica 48, no. 5-6 (1991): 35-37.

Meyer B et al. Antioxidative properties of alcoholic extracts from Fraxinus excelsior, Populus tremula and Solidago virgaurea. Arzneimittelforschung 1995; 45: 174–176.

El-Ghazaly M et al. Study of the anti-inflammatory activity of Populus tremula, Solidago virgaurea and Fraxinus excelsior. Arzneimittelforschung 1992; 42: 333–336.

Thiem B, Goślińska O. Antimicrobial activity of Solidago virgaurea L. from in vitro cultures. Fitoterapia 2002; 73: 514–516.

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Borchert VE et al. Extracts from Rhois aromatic and Solidaginis virgaurea inhibit rat and human bladder contraction. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2004; 369: 281–286.

Gross, Steven C., Goodarz Goodarzi, Misako Watabe, Sucharita Bandyopadhyay, Sudha K. Pai, and Kounosuke Watabe. Antineoplastic activity of Solidago virgaurea on prostatic tumor cells in an SCID mouse model. Nutrition and cancer 43, no. 1 (2002): 76-81.

Sung JH, Lee JO, Son JK, Park NS, Kim MR, et al.: Cytotoxic constituents from Solidago virgaurea var. Gigantea MIQ. Arch Pharmacol Res 22, 633–637, 1999.

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Carney DN, Bunn PA, Gazdar AF, Pagan JA, and Minna JD: Selective growth in serum-free hormone-supplemented medium of tumor cells obtained by biopsy from patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 78, 3185–3189, 1981.

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European Medicines Agency, Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Assessment report for herbal substance(s), herbal preparations or combinations thereof with traditional use: Solidago virgaurea L., herba. London, 4 September 2008. EMEA/HMPC/ 285759/2007.

European Medicines Agency, Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Assessment report for herbal substance(s), herbal preparations or combinations thereof with traditional use: Solidago virgaurea L., herba. London, 4 September 2008. EMEA/HMPC/ 285759/2007. Available at http://www.ema.europa.eu (accessed 28/08/12).

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Solidaginis virgaureae herba (European Goldenrod)

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Immunotherapy: Thymus and Spleen Peptides

Immunotherapy: Thymus and Spleen Peptides

Febuary 7, 2020

Immunotherapy: Thymus and Spleen Peptides

Cancer immunotherapy is a rapidly emerging field that has ancient roots in traditional medicine. For centuries, traditional Chinese medicine and other traditional health care systems have used specific herbal and mushroom formulations, as well as food substances, like thymus, to enhance immunity. There are many effective immunotherapies worldwide, such as thymus and spleen peptides, GcMAF, medicinal mushroom extracts, mistletoe injections, hyper T/NK cells, hyperthermia, and intravenous high-dose vitamin C or α-lipoic acid. Studies indicate a potential to improve immune efficacy using combination approaches involving immunotherapeutic agents with differing modes of action. Every effective cancer terrain treatment starts with more than one form of immunotherapy. It is important that cancer immunotherapy be customized to each patient individually based on their health status. Breast cancer patients usually show a disturbed, suppressed immune system. Intrusive surgeries, cytotoxic chemotherapy, radiation, and numerous immunosuppressive drugs (drugs that suppress the immune system) lead additionally to temporary or long-term immunity deficiency. The number of defense cells in the blood can be increased and their functionality improved or restored through thymus and spleen compounds. Thymus Extracts and Peptides The thymus gland, consisting of two lobes, is located behind the breastbone in front of the heart. To a large extent, the health of the thymus determines the health of the immune system. The thymus is a central lymphoid organ where bone marrow derived immature lymphocytes (a type of white cell) undergo differentiation and become active T-cell lymphocytes. They are called T-cells because they primarily mature in the thymus gland, although some also mature in the tonsils. T-lymphocytes, or T-cells, play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. The thymus changes its size and function during our life cycle. It is largest and most active in newborns, infants and in the years prior to adolescence. By the early teens, the thymus begins to shrink and thymus tissue is replaced by fatty tissue. Nevertheless, a small amount of T-lymphocyte production continues throughout adult life. Lymphocytes make up roughly 20 to 40 percent of the total number of white blood cells. Lymphocyte counts drop when bone marrow is suppressed during cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy. T-cells also decrease when the overall lymphocyte count drops. The thymus produces enzymes and hormone-like peptides that play an important role in the development, maturation, differentiation, and activation of T-cells.1 Thymic peptides include thympoeitin, thymulin, thymosin, and thymic humoral factor, which all have both central and peripheral activities. Studies with thymic peptides have shown a variety of effects on the immune system. Basically, thymic peptides act as chemical messengers to activate, regulate, and stabilize the immune system. In clinical trials, thymus peptides strengthen the effects of immunomodulators in immunodeficiency, autoimmune diseases, and neoplastic malignancies. There are two groups of injectable thymus products available for use in treatment: Purified extracts from animal (mostly calf) thymus glands which contain peptides (pTE) Synthetically produced thymus gland peptides (sTP) Both injectable purified thymus extracts (pTE) and synthetic thymic peptides (sTP) have been demonstrated to enhance the immune system of cancer patients to assist in fighting tumor cell growth and resist infections due to immunosuppression induced by the disease and antineoplastic therapy. There are over 40 different factors in a purified thymus extract, that impart its therapeutic effectiveness, but not all have been adequately researched. For this reason, it is not advisable to only use individual thymus peptides, but rather the entire pTE, or, in some cases, a combination of the two. There are also oral extract forms of thymus (from bovine sources) in capsules and tablets sold as a dietary supplement. Generally, pTE has been demonstrated to have the following biological activities: modulate the production, maturation and activation of T-lymphocytes and improve B lymphocyte function2, 3, 4 increase the number and function of T helper/inducer lymphocytes (T4 cells)5, 6 increase the number and function of T suppressor cells (T8 cells)7, 8 improve immune response through the enhancement of bone marrow function, and protect against bone marrow suppression from cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiation 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 prevent secondary infections due to immunosuppression caused by cytotoxic chemotherapy and surgical interventions20, 21 increase response rate of anticancer therapies through improvement of lymphocyte function and biological defense mechanisms22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 History of Thymus Therapy Thymus therapy can be traced back to Dr. Elis Sandberg from Sweden, who was having promising results in treating chronic diseases and cancer as far back as 1938.30 Dr. Sandberg was able to manufacture a purified thymus extract (pTE) that included several peptides in a high-molecular concentration, and called this new substance “THX.” By the 1980’s, Sandberg had successfully treated more than 50,000 patients with THX. In addition to the positive results of his treatment, many of his patients experienced significant anti-aging effects. This method has been used in Germany now for over 40 years and in many clinics has replaced the classic method of Live Cell Therapy developed by Professor Niehans. An exponentially-growing number of international scientific publications on the thymus gland and the use of pTE for cancer have emerged. Several international pharmaceutical companies have invested intensively into thymus research and produced pTE and sTP for the therapy of diverse diseases, especially cancer. However, most large pharmaceutical companies have ceased their production of thymic peptides since the beginning of the 21st century. Instead these companies have focused on developing patentable, and extremely expensive remedies such as interferons, interleukins, or monoclonal antibodies. This is partly because thymic peptides cannot be protected by patents. Hence, there is no profit in producing them. Additionally, alongside this decline in thymic peptide production, extensive propaganda suggests that there is a lack of quality evidence for pTE as an adjuvant to orthodox cancer treatment. This, however, is simply not true. Commercial Purified Thymus Extracts (pTE) and Thymic Peptide Preparations Since Elias Sandberg’s development of THX in the 70s, several injectable forms of pTE have been used in Europe for restoration of the immune system and in treatment of breast cancer. 31, 32 To date, more than twenty thymus peptides have been isolated from the whole-thymus extract. In Europe, pTE treatment is usually given on an outpatient basis. The classic pTE treatment course depends on the preparation used, and treatment is always individually adjusted in dosage, frequency, and duration depending on the condition of the patient. Even though there are more than 500 scientific publications which discuss the effects and efficacy of injectable thymus extracts and their peptides, there are only a few pTE injectable products available in the European market. This fact is unfortunate, as limited availability means limited usage. Overall, this will impede further scientific research. The injectable pTE extracts that are available come with their own manufacturer’s recommended protocol of treatment. I will discuss three pTE preparations and another unique peptide used for immunotherapy in breast cancer patients. These products are currently all available in Europe. Thymex-L An ampule of Thymex-L consists of 150 mg lyophilised, sterile, total thymus extract isolated from fresh juvenile calf thymus and standardized to 0.6 mg / mg thymus cytoplasmatic protein. Thymex-L extract has a wide range of application for illness due to reduced immunity, especially a deficiency related to cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It has yielded good results in adjuvant cancer treatment of breast, lungs, uterus, prostate, Hodgkin’s disease and Kapose’s sarcoma. In 1992, researchers at the Institute of Oncology and Radiology in Belgrade, Serbia, conducted a study of lung cancer patients who took Thymex-L simultaneously with radiation therapy. The researchers concluded that, “Thymex-L can successfully prevent the harmful effect of radiation therapy on cellular immunity in a majority of lung cancer patients.”33 In 1995, researchers were able to enhance monocyte activity in melanoma patients injected with Thymex-L. The researchers concluded that, “depressed monocyte functions in selected melanoma patients may be partially improved by Thymex-L.”34 The manufacturer’s recommended dosage of Thymex-L for immune support following cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy suggests that injections should be administered every other day for a total of 10-20 injections. This treatment schedule depends, of course, on the patient’s health and the stage of the cancer. THYMEX-L® treatment can be repeated after an interval of 3 to 12 months. If necessary, long-term treatment with THYMEX-L®can be administered. Then, one injection twice a week is recommended as maintenance. TFX-Thymomodulin TFX-Thymomodulin, like Thymex-L, is a purified thymus extract derived from the thymus glands of calves. It is an approved drug in Italy, and is used throughout Europe as an immune treatment. Research and human trials have shown good results with a number of conditions involving immune deficiency or dysfunction and infections.35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 According to the manufacturer, 1 package of TFX-Thymomodulin includes 10 injection vials containing 10 milligrams of lyophilisate and 10 ampules of solvent. This product is composed of 6 thymic peptides. TFX-Thymomodulin can be administered with subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. However, it must first be dissolved in 2 ml of normal saline and then used immediately. The manufacturer recommends that the dosage of TFX-Thymomodulin be determined on an individual basis depending on the health of the patient. For immune support following cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy, the typical dosage is 10 to 20 mg a day for 30 days followed by 20 to 50 mg once a week. Thymus Peptide C Thymus Peptide C is another purified thymus extract from the thymus gland of young calves. Its properties are like Thymex-L and TFX-Thymomodulin. Hence, Thymus Peptide C is used as an immunotherapy in breast cancer and immunodeficiency caused by cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiation therapy. One package of Thymus Peptide C contains 10 vials of 25 mg. As with the other preparations, the dosage needs to be determined on an individual basis depending on the health of the patient. The following is a typical dosage for immune support following cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy: 25 mg/day for 30 days followed by 25-30 mg/week. As with all pTE, the continued administration, dosage, and duration of the treatment depend on the therapeutic effect and health status of the patient. Thymus Peptide M (LUPEX) Some European doctors use a thymus extract together with Peptide M as LUPEX to treat breast cancer with immunodeficiency. One vial of LUPEX contains 5 mg or 10 mg of Peptide M, a low molecular short chain synthetic peptide. It is a ubiquitous peptide present in the body. In a low quantity it is also found in the thymus gland. Its range of application includes bone metastasis by mamma-carcinomas, as well as other carcinomas. LUPEX is available in 5 or 10 mg options. Both must be dissolved in 2 ml of physiological saline before they can be subcutaneously injected with a very thin needle. Injections should be given while the patient is lying down and they should rest for at least 15 minutes after the injection. A recommended LUPEX dosage schedule for immune support following cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation therapy is 5 mg subcutaneously, five times a week, or two to three times a day up to a maximum total daily amount of 40 mg depending on the severity of the disease and each individual. LUPEX can also be used as a long-term treatment, starting with two injections weekly. Then, one injection weekly for one or two years. Side Effects of Thymus Extract and Peptides There are no known side effects with the above purified thymus extracts or LUPEX. However, at the injection site, erythema, or a slight sensitivity, could develop. In such cases a one- or two-day break from the treatment is indicated. Thymus Extract and Peptides Availability For now, these thymus preparations are only available in Germany and a few other European countries. They may be imported to the U.S only in small amounts for personal usage and not for resale. Even though there has been a decline in pTE production in Europe and there have been restrictions on their import into the U.S., thymus peptides are poised to make a huge impact on cancer treatment in the near future. This is because they stimulate cellular immunity without side effects and are relatively inexpensive. Big Pharma is manufacturing immunotherapy medications such as Keytruda and Opdivo that target the surface receptors that inhibit T-cells. These medications carry numerous side effects, some quite serious, and are very expensive. Thymus extracts and peptides have a proven safety record and are a fraction of the cost of these designer immunotherapy medications. Spleen Peptides Another organ peptide preparation used in cancer therapy in Europe is splenic peptides. The spleen is the largest organ of the lymphatic system and contributes to a fully operational immune system. The spleen combines the innate and adaptive immune system in a uniquely organized way. The structure of the spleen enables it to remove older red blood cells from circulation and leads to the efficient removal of blood-borne microorganisms and cellular debris. It is made up of B- and T-cell lymphocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, and red blood cells. This organ can be thought of as an immunological conference center. In the spleen, B-cell lymphocytes become activated and produce large amounts of antibodies. Microbial penetration of tissues, or a tumorous terrain, evokes an immediate immune reaction of the spleen. The spleen, like the thymus, also produces peptides that have a number of important effects on the body. These peptides are notable for improving both immunity and detoxification of the body. Specifically, certain splenic peptides have been shown to bind to specific receptors on the surface of white cells such as macrophages and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. This, in turn, stimulates their migration, phagocytic, bactericidal, and tumoricidal (antitumor) activity.41 Like pTE, splenic peptides are capable of restoring immune functions damaged by radiation and chemotherapy. They stabilize the lymphocytic status and improve the patient’s general health. For more than 50 years, splenic peptides have been used in supportive tumor therapy aimed at improving the patient’s poor general state of health. Splenic peptides are obtained from porcine spleen. The main constituents of the active ingredients in splenic peptides are oligopeptides and polypeptides. Depending on the method of manufacture, however, splenic peptide preparations may vary widely in their individual composition. Commercial Spleen Peptides Preparations Several splenic peptide preparations are available in Europe for enhancing immune function, particularly after surgery, radiation therapy, and cytotoxic chemotherapy. Two of the most researched are Polyerga and SPLENIN.42, 43, 44 Polyerga is available in both oral form as well as injectable. The oral form is called Polyerga Plus and includes polypeptide tablets and oligopeptide capsules. According to the manufacturer, a tablet is taken before meals three times daily and a capsule is taken every other day before a meal. Each vial of SPLENIN contains: 50 mg of polypeptides from porcine spleen as a freeze-dried powder as the active ingredient. According to the manufacturer, dosage is as follows: for one week from Monday – Friday administer 1 vial of SPLENIN daily. Then for two weeks, three times a week, administer 1 vial of SPLENIN. After that, administer 1 vial of SPLENIN twice a week for three weeks. Further administration of SPLENIN is determined on an individual case basis by the physician and depends on the patient’s condition and tolerance of therapy. Repeated treatment is recommended after 6 weeks or 3 months. In severe cases, long-term therapy where 1 vial of SPLENIN is administered 1-2 times a week may be considered. The combination of thymic peptides and splenic peptides is useful in general immune deficiencies and reduced resistance during cancer treatment. While thymic peptides regulate T lymphocytes and recruit new T-cells from the bone marrow, splenic peptides have a greater influence on the B lymphocytic defenses. Hence, patients whose immune systems are suppressed due to radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapy are good candidates for thymus and spleen peptide therapy. These treatments can be used together or separately and, like all treatment plans, should be individualized to the patient’s condition. Most conventional U.S. physicians and oncologists know little – if anything – about this type of peptide therapy. With no knowledge, most physicians will not recommend trying it, even though side effects are almost non-existent.

For more articles on thymus therapy, consult our BRMI library by clicking here. For even more information, including physicians who offer thymus extract and spleen peptide therapy, as well as how to purchase thymus, visit www.thymus-therapie.org.

References

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