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It is now understood that tumor cells 'disguise' themselves in the body, thus escaping immune surveillance and tend to be unnoticed by our immune system. Immunotherapy utilizes the power and specificity of the immune system to treat tumors. It is now recognized as the fourth modality of cancer treatment. One reason that cancer cells thrive is because they are able to hide from our immune system. There are two Approaches in Immunotherapy. Certain immunotherapies can 'mark' cancer cells so it is easier for the immune system to recognize and destroy them. Other immunotherapies boost and stimulate the immune system to work better against cancer.
What are dendritic cells?
Dendritic cells are special immune cells in the body that help the immune system recognize cancer cells. They break down cancer cells into smaller pieces (including antigens), then hold out these antigens so that other immune cells called T cells can see them. This makes it easier for the immune system cells to recognize and attack cancer cells.
What is (Dendritic cell) Immunotherapy ?
DCs are the most effective professional Antigen Presenting Cells (APCs) that express MHC I and MHC II molecules.
DCs link the innate and adapative immune response- Master Immune Cells
DCs also express many co-stimulatory molecules and are equipped with receptors that promote their migration to the lymph nodes after antigen capture.
Exhibit cross-presentation: unique capability to present internalised antigens derived from exogenous sources, not only in MHC class II molecules, but also in MHC class I molecules
Owing to these properties, DCs have been found to be the most efficient endogenous stimulus of new T- and B- cell responses. Dendritic Cell refers to an immunotherapy treatment using mature and antigen presenting Dendritic cells (derived from the cancer patient) and primed with antigens of the cancer patient. Hence it is a personalised biological therapy: a type of treatment that uses ‘live’ cells to treat cancer.
How is APAC biotech connected with DC (Immunotherapy)?
After years of research on Dendritic cell (Immunotherapy) APAC Biotech has developed a Dendritic cell based formulation in state of art facility under highly trained and expert technical guidance.
What is APCEDEN® ?
APCEDEN® is an autologous, monocyte derived Dendritic Cell (DC) based immunotherapy which activates the patient's immune system against the specific cancer. It is believed to act by stimulating the production of immune cells, produced naturally in the body, that target and attack cancer cells. The Dendritic Cell itself is an immune cell involved in the recognition, processing and presentation of foreign antigens to the T-cells in the effector arm of the immune system.
What is Leukapheresis?
Leukapheresis is a process of collection of Peripheral blood Mononuclear cells through a cell separator.
Why is Leukapheresis required?
Although Dendritic Cells are the most potent cells, they are usually not present in adequate quantities to allow for an effective immune response in cancer patients. Dendritic Cell Therapy thus involves harvesting of monocytes from the patient, and processing them in the laboratory to produce mature antigen presenting Dendritic Cells which are then infused back into the patient in order to allow massive participation of Dendritic cells in optimally activating the immune system against the specific cancer.
To prepare an effective dendritic cell formulation a good yield of Peripheral blood mononuclear cells are required, which can only be extracted through the leukapheresis process in a much more efficient way than the traditional method i.e. blood draw.
Are there any side effects of the therapy? Is the dendritic cell therapy safe and effective?
As per trials there are near zero side effects. The only side effect seen in trials is mild and fatigue. APAC BIOTECH had conducted a trial PAN India to prove the safety and efficacy of the Dendritic Cell Formulation (APCEDEN®). During our clinical trials 225 infusions were given and most of the infusions were without any event except a single case where there was an episode of minor chills and fever.
What kind of benefits are seen in patients treated with Dendritic Cell (Immunotherapy)?
In the trial we have shown a survival of 397 days with good quality of life to patients who had life expectancy of three months thus proving the efficacy of the product. The effectiveness can increase from case to case.
How effective is dendritic cell immunotherapy in cancer ?
Responses have generally been promising as it is an autologous process; it has near zero side effects, reduces cancer morbidity and improves the quality of life. Depending on the type of cancer and the functional status of cancer patients, the response may differ from patient to patient.
Are there any contraindications to dendritic cell immunotherapy ?
Immunologic testing can better establish the condition of the immune system to help physicians determine if a patient is a good candidate for dendritic cell immunotherapy. Active autoimmune diseases as well as pregnancy are possible contraindications. Contraindications should be carefully discussed and reviewed with the consulting physician before proceeding.
Patient travels to India and stays for 16-18 days during which they undergo biopsy and Leukapharesis at our affiliated hospital.
We need 8 days post that for manufacturing Dendritic Cell Therapy.
The patient takes the first dose here in India and carries back the remaining doses to their home country and takes the next dose as per schedule every 15 days there.
For this patient has to ensure a liquid nitrogen storage facility in their home country for storing the doses.
Patient travels to India and stays for the total length of duration of treatment which is approx. 3.5 months.
Once all 6 doses are taken, the patient travels back.
Accommodation and Lodging:
APACs travel desk provides complete assistance to patients on choice of accommodation, location from hospital etc as per the preferences.
Patients may book the accommodation on their own or through APACs travel desk.
The cost of lodging is not included in the treatment cost.
Airport Pick up/Drop:
Complementary pick up and drop is arranged for overseas patients from/to the airport by APAC.
Patient must travel on Medical Visa for India.
The invitation letter is sent for the same by APAC and affiliated hospital once the patient is confirmed.
Patient must travel with a valid medical insurance to cover for any unexpected emergency treatments/hospitalisation.
Patient needs to be accompanied by an attendant if they are travelling to India for Dendritic Cell Therapy.
In between the treatment or during manufacturing process, in the free time patients may travel to nearby popular places such as Agra, Jaipur or simply opt for Delhi tour.
The same can be arranged by APACs travel desk as per request.
Holistic healing/Yoga sessions:
Sessions can be arranged for the patient during their stay on special request.