Immunocellular Therapy History

The dendritic cell just might be the most important immune cell you’ve never heard of. First identified in the early 1970s by Ralph Steinman, M.D., dendritic cells, or DCs, were long thought to be too rare to play a significant role in the immune response. Thanks to decades of work by Dr. Steinman and other investigators, it is now known that DCs are exceptionally powerful initiators of immunity, with the ability to activate an immune response up to 100 times more potent than any other cell in the immune repertoire. Because of this unique talent, DCs are now a major focus of laboratory and clinical study across the globe, and are critical targets in cancer vaccine development. Long overshadowed by their better-known cousins, B and T cells, DCs are finally getting their day in the sun.

In the early 1970s, the immunology community was just beginning to coalesce around a model of immunity comprising two distinct types-one mediated by B cells and the other by T cells.

Most research at the time focused on characterizing these cells and their functions in greater detail. While this model of dual immunity would soon become a pillar of immunology, a critical piece of the puzzle was still missing. Immunologists understood which cells carried out the immune response, but they did not yet know how this response was initiated.

Immune cells are able to target threats selectively within the body—be they virally infected cells, bacteria, parasites, or cancerous cells—while, in most normal cases, leaving healthy cells unharmed. Specific identifying molecules, called antigens, found on or in offending cells signal the presence of danger. In many instances, though, it isn’t enough simply to put an immune cell in the same vicinity as a threatening cell. Like two strangers on a busy sidewalk, the dangerous cell can pass by completely undetected. Something else is needed to introduce the two and enable the immune cell to recognize the threat and attack it

According to Steinman, the biggest challenge is not the shortage of ideas; it’s the shortage of resources and coordination. “When you’re doing a cancer vaccine,” he says, “there are many things you have to consider, and these efforts need to be coordinated.” To optimize the patient response to cancer vaccination requires studying immune checkpoints and the mechanisms of tumor immune evasion. Combining immunotherapies directed at the patient with more traditional therapies, like chemotherapy and radiation, which are directed at the tumor, is another area of intense scientific interest. “It’s logical to do some things like chemotherapy to attack the tumor and some things like immunotherapy to make the host immune response work better,” says Steinman.

APAC Biotech (P) Ltd., An upcoming biotechnology company involved in research based Dendritic Cell therapy and preparing formulation to arrest the growth and cure of cancer is first of its kind in India. While, we prepare ourselves for a larger cause of fighting Cancer, we also see our growth, contributing to the country’s progress which is fast emerging as a medical holiday destination.

It was the foresightedness of two enterprising visionaries, Mr. Sanjiv Jain & Mr. Arun Mehra who came up with novel idea of bringing up a DC research Lab in India thus putting us ahead on the medical landscape by introducing upcoming technologies much in advance than others.

Both these visionaries laid a foundation of APAC BIOTECH in 2010, an organization based at Gurgaon that took an initiative to make a breakthrough innovation in the field of Dendritic Cell Therapy. At APAC Biotech we took an initiative to design & develop a world class lab with state-of-art infrastructure and facilities to mature the DENDRITIC Cells. Technology alone could not have made it possible which was complemented by acquiring best of breed Doctors, Scientists, Research Professionals, Technicians & support staff. This lab is a state of art facility with the best of modern scientific equipments that help to develop a quality formulation.