What is a cancer vaccine?

Cancer vaccine,
the choice of a new treatment
Specific attack to cancer,
“Dendritic cell vaccine therapy”

Relationship between cancer and immunity

As many as 5,000 to 6,000 cancer cells are suggested to develop every day even in the body of healthy people. Nevertheless, not everyone necessarily develops cancer because the immune system attacks cancer cells. Deterioration of immune system function results in its inability to inhibit cancer cell growth and ultimately cancer development.

"Cancer vaccine" therapy aims to eliminate cancer cells via activation and enhancement of such deteriorated immune systems to improve their potential to attack against cancer.

Most people may associate the word "vaccine" with vaccination for immunization purpose. However, tella offers a cancer vaccine intended for therapeutic use, "dendritic cell vaccine therapy".

Mechanism of the cancer vaccine

Cancer cells are variants of normal cells with different markers (antigens). Dendritic cells are a type of immune cells that, acting as the immune system’s commander, recognize a cancer cell as a foreign body through its markers and initiates phagocytosis of such cancer cells. Subsequently, dendritic cells transfer the information on cancer markers to lymphocytes that act as soldiers who fight against foreign substances. Based on the information received, lymphocytes can attack cancer cells.
Cancer vaccine is characterized by fewer adverse effects compared to anticancer drugs that indiscriminately affect both cancer and normal cells. The reason is that the vaccine only targets cancer cells by enhancing the intrinsic immune system of humans. In addition, it is possible to receive the cancer vaccine treatment on ambulatory care.

this therapy produces convenience because of only vaccine injection, so that a patient can receive treatment on an outpatient basis.

Expected to be the fourth cancer treatment

Once diagnosed with cancer, a patient will first receive standard care, including surgery, anticancer therapy, and radiation therapy. However, many patients do not benefit from these standard care treatments alone and may have no alternative but to discontinue treatment due to adverse effects caused by anticancer drugs.
A cancer vaccine is expected to be an additional therapeutic option for these patients, considered the "fourth treatment".
However, the cancer vaccine is usually combined with conventional therapies in consideration of the fact that it takes time to enhance the immune function.Administration of the cancer vaccine after surgical removal or radiation shrinkage of the tumor is expected to facilitate further elimination of the remaining tumor cells by the immune system, resulting in a more favorable therapeutic effect. It is crucial to maximize such an effect while benefiting from the advantages of each therapeutic option.

The difference between peptide vaccines and tella's "dendritic cell vaccine"

Cancer vaccines for therapeutic use are classified into two categories: peptide vaccines and dendritic cell vaccines.

  • Mechanism of peptide vaccines

    Peptide vaccines involve direct injection of a cancer marker (antigen) into the body.
    After injection, the intrinsic human immune system detects an abnormality, attacks the cancer marker, and kills the cancer cells.
    Since this process depends on the host’s potential immune function after injection of cancer antigen, it is usually inadequate in often immunocompromised cancer patients.
  • Mechanism of dendritic cell vaccine

    On the other hand, the dendritic cell vaccine involves extraction of components from which dendritic cells develop from a patient’s body, culture of these components and their artificial differentiation into dendritic cells.In addition, these dendritic cells are generated to memorize a cancer marker (antigen) and are trained to act as commanders of the immune system. Thus, these dendritic cells are injected as a vaccine to ensure their reaction to cancer.
    Dendritic cell vaccine is tailor-made to each patients.Therefore, this vaccine will be more effective since the dendritic cells, which trained to reliably act as commanders, will instruct lymphocytes to activate the immune system.
    tella’s efforts in research and development of cell treatments have been focused primarily on the dendritic cell vaccine.