Enhancing The Immune System To Recognise & Attack Cancer Cells
Tumor cells 'disguise' themselves in the body, thus escaping the immune system’s surveillance. These tumor cells continue to flourish and grow resulting in cancer metastasis (spreading of a tumor to other body parts). Immunotherapy is a new class of cancer treatment that works by harnessing the innate powers of the immune system to fight the cancer metastasis.
APAC Biotech's Dendritic cell (DC) Immunotherapy, APCEDEN®, aims at enabling the patient’s immune system to recognise these tumor cells and destroy them. Because of the immune system's unique properties, these therapies may hold greater potential than current treatment approaches to fight cancer, to offer longer-term protection against the disease with comparatively minimum side effects.
What do they do ?
Dendritic Cells are effective professional "Antigen Presenting Cells (APCs)" that express MHC I and MHC II molecules. In other words, their function is to recognise tumor proteins/infectious agents, engulf them and to express specific antigenic peptides derived from them on their surface.
How Dendritic Cells fight Cancer ?
When mature Dendritic Cells interact with resting T-Lymphocytes (major Immune cells responsible for attacking tumor cells), upon proper signalling, they activate these resting T-lymphocytes to become "activated T-lymphocytes" (CTLs, Cytotoxic-T lymphocytes). The CTLs now circulate in blood and divide to proliferate and increase their number many-fold. The CTLs can recognise the specific tumor cells (as educated by mature Dendritic Cells) and destroy them. APAC’s Dendritic Cell product APCEDEN®, utilises this process to make a "Personalised Dendritic Cell" population for each cancer patient.
What are the other functions of Dendritic Cells in our Immune system ?
These cells are irregular in shape with multiple long projections resembling "dendrites" of a neuron. Mature DCs express the tumor antigens on these dendrites.
Dendritic Cells link the innate and adaptive immune response. Hence also known as "Master Immune Cells."
Dendritic Cells 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.
APAC Biotech's Therapeutic Platform
Patient’s own monocytes (WBCs) are used along with patient’s own tumor tissue to create a population of Dendritic Cells specific to the patient’s "Cancer" such that when administered, it boosts the patient’s immune response (activates the T-lymphocytes) thereby recognising, attacking and destroying the tumor cells.
Patient’s have shown reduction in the size of their lesions, a significant survival benefit as well as improvement in their Quality of Life (QOL). Moreover, this technology can also be given adjuvantly with other treatment modalities without contra-indications.
Since the treatment is completely self derived (autologous in nature), there are minimal side effects.
The vaccine technology works by “tricking” the immune system into treating cancer as it would a viral infection through the reprogramming of powerful immune cells known as dendritic cells. This personalised cancer treatment technology focuses on how specific cancer antigens (e.g. unique tumor-specific identifiers) are processed by Dendritic Cells and communicated to T-cells. This novel approach ultimately skews the immune system towards a powerful and targeted attack with durable memory potential not previously achievable through other vaccine approaches. The treatment is personalized (e.g. uses the patient’s own tumor protein and own tumor mRNA amplified), and like any successful vaccine, is designed to be long-lasting and dramatically reduce the risk of future relapse.