Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Dentritic Cell Treatment Developed for Inoperable Solid Tumors

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 10 Oct 2012
Print article
New technology offers a potential new treatment alternative for the wide range of clinical circumstances in which patients’ tumors are considered “inoperable” because the patient has multiple tumors, their tumor cannot be completely removed, or the surgery would cause excess damage to the patient and hinder their quality of life.

Northwest Biotherapeutics (NW Bio; Bethesda, MD, USA), a biotechnology company that develops customized immune therapies for cancer, reported that it is in late stage discussions with medical centers in the United States and Europe to continue with a phase I/II clinical trial with the company’s agent, DCVax-Direct, for all types of solid tumor cancers (i.e., cancers in any tissues). The company previously received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the clinical trial.

A large number of patients with a variety of cancer types (including lung, colon, pancreatic, liver, ovarian, head and neck, and others) are faced with this situation, because their tumors are already locally advanced or have begun to metastasize by the time symptoms develop and the patients seek treatment. For these patients, the outlook today is bleak and survival remains quite limited.

DCVax-Direct is administered by direct injection into a patient’s tumors. It can be injected into any number of tumors, enabling patients with locally advanced disease or with metastases to be treated. The agent can also be injected into tumors in virtually any location in the body: not only tissues at or near the surface of the body but also, with ultrasound guidance, into interior tissues.

The phase I/II trial with the compound will treat 36 patients in two parts. In part 1, 24 patients with any type of solid tumor cancer will be treated in groups with increasing dose levels. Then, in part 2, an additional 12 patients with any selected cancer will be treated with the optimal dose. When DCVax-Direct was administered in preclinical animal studies, existing tumors regressed. Importantly, the tumors that regressed included not only tumors that were injected with the compound but also tumors on the opposite side of the animal’s body that were not injected, indicating a systemic immune response. Moreover, when the animals were then challenged (injected) with cancer cells, the animals did not re-develop cancer, indicating immune memory. Significantly, the company’s proprietary activation step for the dendritic cells appeared to be crucial for these findings.

“This broad phase I/II trial, allowing DCVax-Direct to be used for all solid tumor cancers, is a very significant development for us and will enable us to make faster and more efficient clinical progress for multiple cancers than would usually be the case,” commented Linda Powers, CEO of NW Bio. “Based upon the preclinical studies showing regression of existing tumors, DCVax-Direct may offer a much needed new treatment option for patients suffering with inoperable tumors today.”

DCVax-Direct is based upon the same platform technology as the company’s first two major product lines (DCVax-L and DCVax-Prostate). This technology utilizes the patient’s own dendritic cells--the master cells of the immune system. Each product line involves two major elements: the dendritic cells (which are activated to activate the immune system to fight the patient’s cancer), and biomarkers of the patient’s tumor (which identify the targets for the immune system to attack).

For DCVax-Direct, the dendritic cells are activated in a special proprietary approach, to enable them to be directly injected into the patient’s tumors, and to capture the biomarkers of the tumors onsite in the tumor. The “educated” dendritic cells then go on to mobilize the immune system to attack any tumors bearing those biomarkers.

Related Links:

Northwest Biotherapeutics



Print article

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (Photo courtesy of the CDC).

Drug Combination Cures MRSA Infection While Preventing Development of Resistance

Treatment with a combination comprising the well-known antibiotic cefdinir and the experimental drug TXA709 cured mice of drug-resistant staphylococcal infections while reducing the development of resistance.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: A three-dimensional printer adapted for stem cell production (Photo courtesy of Nano Dimension).

Israeli Developers Demonstrate Prototype Three-Dimensional Bioprinter

Two Israeli companies have combined efforts in the development of three-dimensional printer technology for the production of stem cells. The three-dimensional print electronics developer Nano Dimension... Read more

Business

view channel

Acquisition to Boost Development of Drugs for Neurogenic Conditions

According to a recent announcement, a privately held biotechnology/drug development company is to be acquired by one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The drug manufacturer Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, NJ, USA) has agreed to pay 500 million USD up front for Afferent Pharmaceuticals (San Mateo, CA, USA) and up... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.