tella's "dendritic cell vaccine therapy" for cancer
Here, we explain in detail the dendritic cell vaccine therapy.
Strengthening dendritic cells, an essential part of the immune system, and accurately directing them to cancer
Dendritic cells are immune cells with branched projections (dendrites) intrinsically present in the human body.Over the past two to three decades, there have been advancements in the use of dendritic cells, and studies have shown that these important immune cells play an essential role in the immune system.
Early in the process, dendritic cells recognize cancer markers and act as commanders, conveying the information to lymphocytes, which in turn directly combat cancers. Dendritic cells help identify cancer markers to be attacked by lymphocytes instead of combating cancers themselves.Lymphocytes, however, are immune cells that act as soldiers, attacking foreign substances, including but not limited to cancers. This leads to inefficiency in the fight against cancers.
The concept of our dendritic cell vaccine therapy is to develop dendritic cells to reliably convey the information on cancer markers to lymphocytes and to ensure that lymphocytes accurately attack only cancer cells.
However, very few dendritic cells are intrinsically present in the body. Our dendritic cell vaccine therapy aims to increase the dendritic cell population and strengthen the attacking system against cancers.
tella provides our contracted medical institutions in Japan with the dendritic cell vaccine therapy utilizing our advanced technology of the culture of dendritic cells.
Three features of dendritic cell vaccine therapy:
point１: Less concern about adverse effects because the therapy is directed only at cancer
The dendritic cell vaccine is a cancer vaccine that effectively activates a patient’s immune system to attack specifically cancer cells. In addition, the therapy is associated with fewer adverse effects since the vaccine is derived from a patient’s own cells.
point2 : Persistent immunity, attacking cancers for a prolonged period
The dendritic cell vaccine therapy, as its name suggests, is intended to help the body remember and maintain a patient’s immunity to attack only cancers for a prolonged period.
point3: Expected efficacy even for advanced and metastasized cancers
Lymphocytes remember cancer markers via dendritic cell function, circulate in the body, and attack cancer cells. Therefore, they are expected to attack cells of advanced or metastasized cancer as well.
Dendritic cell therapy gaining international attention
Dendritic cell vaccine therapy has been studied around the world as a more advanced "state-of-the-art cancer immune cell therapy" that ensures more reliable action on cancer cells by employing the patient’s own immune cells, than other cancer vaccines.
In 2010, a survival benefit was demonstrated with dendritic cell vaccine therapy for prostate cancer （※）, leading to the approval of the dendritic cell vaccine in the United States.
Thus, the state-of-the-art cancer vaccine, "dendritic cell vaccine therapy," is increasingly expected to be the fourth cancer treatment.
- ※Philip W, et al. N Engl J Med 2010; 363:411-422
You have no need to worry if you do not have cancer tissue.
tella has the exclusive license for the cancer marker WT1 peptide
Dendritic cell vaccine therapy helps dendritic cells recognize a cancer marker and helps lymphocytes remember the marker and attack only cancer cells with this marker.
This means that what is employed as a cancer marker is important. Patient’s own cancer tissue may serve the purpose. However, it is feasible in a very limited number of patients because surgical removal of the cancer tissue is required.
Therefore, tella has been approaching to develop the next-generation dendritic cell vaccine which does not require cancer tissues.
Since tella’s artificially-produced cancer marker, WT1 peptide, was introduced, a dramatically increasing number of patients have been offered dendritic cell vaccine therapy.
WT1 is a cancer marker that has been reported to be expressed in almost all cancers by Professor Haruo SUGIYAMA et al., Osaka University Graduate School.
WT1 peptides contributed to the large increase of the patients who can recieve the dendritic cell vaccine therapy.
In 2009, research groups at NIH reported that WT1 was the most useful among 75 kinds of common cancer antigen
Although WT1 has been appreciated worldwide, the study by Professor Sugiyama demonstrated that only part of the WT1 molecule is likely to result in a beneficial effect among patients. tella's dendritic cell vaccine therapy is expected to produce a more beneficial effect by using a WT1 sequence (WT1 peptide) tailored to a specific patient.
Tella has the exclusive license for the use of WT1 in dendritic cell vaccine therapy. Therefore, patients can receive this therapy only at our contracted medical institutions.