Treatment of Cervix Cancer
Cervical Cancer ranks 2ndamong the cancer mortality rates occurring in women worldwide. It still remains as an important health problem for women in which malignant cells are formed in the tissues of the cervix. Infection of the Cervix with human papillomavirus (HPV) represents the most common threat for the development of cervical dysplasia resulting in cancer. The conventional effective cancer therapy modalities include radical surgery, radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy.
There are several factors which affect prognosis and treatment options including the patient's age, general health condition, size, stage and type of the cancer. However, more than 35% of these patients relapse with metastatic disease for which the treatment options are poor. Major drawbacks of the treatment options include profound immunosuppression combined with tumour-induced subversion of the patient's immune system.
Hence there is a greater need for novel therapeutic strategies which are effective for treating patients with Cervix Cancer. Several research studies suggest that cell-mediated immune responses play an important role in controlling HPV infections. HPV E6 and E7 oncoproteins are expressed at high levels in these lesions and are potential tumour-specific target antigens for immunotherapy. Recently, immunotherapy with dendritic cells (DC) has emerged as fourth modality for treatment of cancer. Dendritic Cells are potent antigen-presenting cells, capable of inducing both innate and adaptive immune responses.
Many clinical trials with DC-based immunotherapy for several human malignancies are being carried out worldwide to evaluate the tolerability and safety of tumour antigen specific dendritic cells. With regard to cervical cancer patients following conventional treatment, different preclinical research strategies are conducted to evaluate the use of autologous DC-pulsed HPV16 or 18 E7 oncoproteins as therapeutic vaccines.
In murine models, DCs educated with HPV antigens (tumour lysate) have been shown to induce potent tumour-specific responses to eradicate residual tumour cells expressing HPV16 antigen. For this novel adjuvant Dendritic cell based therapy, DCs are generated by culturing patient's autologous Peripheral blood mononuclear cells(PBMC) with GM-CSF and IL-4, then pulsed with synthetic peptides representing the CTL epitopes on HPV Type E6 or E7. Antigen-specific Dendritic Cells will be then administered into patients with Cervical Cancer.