Flow of therapy
Schedule for a standard dendritic cell vaccine therapy procedure (at medical institutions)
Step 1 Medical consultation
A doctor will provide a detailed explanation on dendritic cell vaccine therapy.
Step 2 Examination prior to therapy
To determine whether the patient can receive dendritic cell vaccine therapy, a blood test and an imaging study will be conducted. The blood test takes approximately one week.
Step 3 Apheresis
Blood will be collected to obtain a large amount of cells called monocytes, a type of white blood cell from which dendritic cells originate. This process employs blood component sampling.
Step 4 Preparation of the dendritic cell vaccine
Monocytes obtained by apheresis will be cultured at a cell-processing center at a medical institution, where they will be differentiated into dendritic cells. These dendritic cells pulsed with artificially produced cancer markers or cancer tissue from the patient.
Thus, mature dendritic cells recognizing specific cancer markers are generated.
Step 5 Injection of the dendritic cell vaccine
The generated dendritic cell vaccine will be injected every other week.
A treatment course consisting of 5 to 7 injections usually takes 3 to 4 months.
Step 6 Evaluation of the therapeutic effect
At the end of each treatment course, therapeutic effect analysis will be performed via a blood test and an imaging study. Based on the results of such evaluation, a doctor will discuss future therapeutic strategies with the patient.
Therapy not covered by public health insurance in Japan
Since dendritic cell vaccine therapy is not covered by public health insurance in Japan, a patient is fully responsible for his/her medical expense.