Our Tumor Cell / Dendritic Cell Technology is focused on the development of an innovative cancer treatment that is designed to target the cells responsible for tumor growth and metastasis, known as cancer initiating cells (CICs), using purified CICs from a patient’s own tumor as an antigen source to induce or enhance an anti-tumor immune response in the patient. Colloquially called ‘cancer stem cells’, these cancer-initiating cells typically make up only a small portion of the entire tumor mass. Using the same proprietary technologies used to isolate and grow other stem cell types, we have developed a process to produce large numbers of these cancer-initiating cells for use in cancer immunotherapy.
Turning Cancer Against Itself
Surgical removal and diagnosis of a tumor is a common step in trying to rid a patient’s body of a malignant cancer. In the use of this technology, the excised tumor is used as a means of developing a therapy. A sample of the tumor is sent to a cGMP facility where the cancer initiating cells are isolated, purified, and then inactivated by irradiation. The cell line is then combined with another type of cell, called a dendritic cell, or antigen presenting cell, which is derived from the patient’s own blood. The antigen presenting cells may have the ability to help train the patient’s immune system to identify and eliminate malignant cells. By exposing the cancer- initiating cells to the antigen presenting cells, the therapy is believed to target the very cells that have the ability to form new tumors.
This platform technology may be appropriate to target malignant melanoma, lung, colon, renal and ovarian cancers, hepatocellular carcinoma and glioblastoma multiforme.