In November 2019, the Panamanian Department of Pharmacy and Drugs approved another selenase® product for marketing in the country – one of the 27 countries around the world where biosyn products are sold. This peninsular-like country forms an important geographical link between the two big American continents. On the other side of the ocean, the German pharmaceutical manufacturer and Panama are yet now united in another way – to face the challenge of cancer.
Number 34 on the periodic table, selenium sits below sulfur and above tellurium and adjacent to iodine. This metalloid is an essential trace element needed by every single cell. An adult human will have on average between 5 and 15 milligrams Se in their body. Individuals in countries like Poland, New Zealand and Germany where there is a geochemical dearth in the soil and forages tend to have lower selenium levels. Deficient dietary intake of selenium is the pathogenesis of diseases like Keshan’s cardiomyopathy prevalent in certain regions of China.
Depending on local soil conditions, the dietary intake of the essential trace element selenium can vary greatly. Geographical, geological and geochemical factors often lead to a clinically relevant deficiency in selenium. In many countries like Germany where soil is selenium-poor, individuals commonly suffer from too low selenium levels. These individuals are at risk of adverse effects to health. Selenium deficiency may also be a sign of other clinical disorders, can make certain viruses more virulent, is associated with weakened immunity, cardiomyopathy, thyroid problems and even reduced sperm production. To help, lab workups can determine a person’s selenium status and whether selenium supplementation is required. This would be the case if levels are < 80 μg/L in the serum or < 100 μg/L in whole blood. If the selenium test reveals a deficiency, the health insurance in some countries may pay for the selenium prescription.
In the early 1990s, the team of researchers around Dr. Thomas Stiefel, CEO of the pharmaceutical company biosyn, discovered that a unique sea creature living in the cold waters off Southern California’s Pacific coastline can provide a substance for use in cancer therapy. Keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), an immunostimulating glycoprotein, is obtained by a non-lethal method from the hemolymph of the keyhole limpet (Megathura crenulata).
Science has proven that immune function is limited and susceptibility to infections increased when the body is deficient in amino acids. While our bodies need protein to activate natural killer cells, macrophages, T and B lymphocytes, amino acids play an important role in the production of antibodies and cytokines.
New research on the biology of aging confirms the need to boost the immune system in the elderly.
As we grow old, muscle mass and mobility decline as does the function of organs like the spleen and thymus that are responsible for the body’s immunity. Our immune system loses its strength and its ability to perform - a condition called immunosenescence. As a result, the elderly become more susceptible to infection and geriatric diseases and the aging process may even be accelerated.
Keshan disease is a cardiovascular condition related to selenium deficiency. It occurs mostly in China, where some soils are extremely selenium deficient. In Europe, many geographical regions are selenium deficient. Poor selenium status is related to the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular death. This especially applies to the elderly. Improved selenium status can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
Well-trained nurses and guideline compliance are critical factors in any clinical routine, but especially important when hematology-oncology patients develop septic crises. In neutropenic patients, one of the first signs of sepsis is elevated temperature. Fast action is required at fever onset. Timely administration of antibiotics is critical to many variables on ICUs like reduced complications, hospital stay and improved survival. A recent study on sepsis management is proving how nurse-led sepsis management may prevent septic complications and improve survival.
In early pregnancy, placental oxygen is very low, but increases significantly during gestation. Too high an oxygen content can lead to oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species (ROS) and damage fetal cells. This imbalance is associated with premature birth, impaired cognitive and motor development in the baby and preeclampsia, postpartum depression and hypothyroidism in the mother. Selenium is important for protecting both mother and baby against oxidative stress.
In addition to its blockbuster selenase®, biosyn offers many other highly efficacious preparations ranging from pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals through antidotes and biomodulators to opioid analgesics. The indications vary accordingly: medicinal products for treating nutritional deficiencies caused by diseases, pregnancy, vegetarianism, thyroid problems or cytotoxic therapies. biosyn’s mineral and food supplements are indicated to prevent such deficiencies, while promoting general health.
What to do when the standard fails? Wasn't it enough that the patient suffered from superficial bladder cancer and now a post-TUR recurrence? After standard therapies were contraindicated, have been exhausted or were not tolerated in the first place, second-line treatment with IMMUCOTHEL® is indicated to prevent recurrences in superficial bladder cancer. This immunotherapeutic from biosyn is a safe, efficacious and well-established alternative to BCG. Thanks to its high tolerability and low rate of side effects, patients experience much less distress with IMMUCOTHEL®.
Since its discovery by Berzelius in 1817, knowledge about the importance of selenium keeps growing. Thanks to knowledge gained by the recent decades’ advancements in medical science, much has changed over the past centuries in terms of how we view micronutrients and their function in preventing and curing illness. It took 140 years before the discovery of selenium led to the recognition that it is essential for human life. Now, evidence on the benefits of supplementation with this antioxidant in a multitude of diseases keeps mounting at an ever-faster pace. Selenium deficiency is associated with an increased risk for cancer, immunodeficiency, osteoporosis, cardiovascular and thyroid diseases
Not to brag, but our micronutrient Zinkotase® can help prevent or shorten the duration of this catarrhal disorder. The common cold – an enduring enigma that has plagued humankind for ages. As the old saying goes, a cold lasts a week if you go to the doctor and seven days if you don’t. Joking aside, evidence shows that if you take the trace element zinc, the duration of your cold will be shorter and many of its symptoms alleviated.
Understanding how trace elements like selenium work to protect and strengthen the immune system. One of biochemistry’s historic milestones took place a little over 200 years ago. When the Swedish chemist Berzelius discovered selenium in 1817, the importance of trace elements such as selenium or zinc was not understood. Then, it wasn’t yet entirely clear how trace elements provide the body with protection from free radicals.