Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Dentritic Cell Treatment Developed for Inoperable Solid Tumors

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 10 Oct 2012
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



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Diagram illustrates the innovative process that could lead to more effective drugs against influenza infection (Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Researchers Show How the Influenza Virus Blocks Natural Killer Cell Recognition

A team of molecular virologists has described how the influenza virus evolved a defense mechanism to protect it from attack by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells. The recognition of pathogen-infected... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Synthetic ion transporters can induce apoptosis by facilitating chloride anion transport into cells (Photo courtesy of the University of Texas, Austin).

Experimental Drug Kills Cancer Cells by Interfering with Their Ion Transport Mechanism

An experimental anticancer drug induces cells to enter a molecular pathway leading to apoptosis by skewing their ion transport systems to greatly favor the influx of chloride anions. To promote development... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Genome-Wide Mutation-Searching Computational Software Designed for Genomic Medicine

Analysis software cross-references a patient’s symptoms with his genome sequence to help physicians in the diagnosis of disease. This software was created by a team of scientists from A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), led by Dr. Pauline Ng. The research findings were published August 3, 2014, in the journal... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.