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Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy For Cancer Treatment

Cancer is being treated worldwide by multiple modalities. The treatment selected and prescribed by the clinician depends on the type of cancer and its stage i.e. how advanced it is. Some cancer patients undergo only one treatment while others are prescribed a combination of treatments, like surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Immunotherapy & How it Works

  • It is now understood that tumor cells ‘disguise’ themselves in the body, thus escaping immune surveillance and tend to remain unnoticed by our immune system. Immunotherapy utilizes the power and specificity of the host’s immune system to fight cancer. It is now recognized as the fourth modality of cancer treatment after Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy.
  • It is a Biological therapy: a type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat cancer.
  • Two Approaches by which Immunotherapy works: Certain immunotherapies can ‘mark’ cancer cells so it is easier for the immune system to find and destroy them. Other immunotherapies boost your immune system to work better against cancer.
  • Two types: Passive Immunotherapy includes the monoclonal antibodies and checkpoint inhibitors. Active Immunotherapy comprises of cancer vaccines that activate the immune system to fight cancer.

Two types: Passive Immunotherapy includes the monoclonal antibodies and checkpoint inhibitors. Active Immunotherapy comprises of cancer vaccines that activate the immune system to fight cancer.

Why Immunotherapy?

It provides the advantage of being ‘tumor specific’ and thus targets the tumor cells only, leaving the healthy dividing cells unharmed. Extraordinary specificity means fewer side effects. Thus, associated with minimum toxicity to the host.

Dendritic Cell (DC) Immunotherapy

Dendritic Cells are master cells of the Immune system co-ordinating both innate and adaptive immune response.

  • DCs are special immune cells in the body that help the immune system recognize cancer cells. They process (breakdown) cancer cells and present or display processed tumor antigens on their surface. These antigen presenting DCs can now educate the cancer fighting immune cells called resting T cells when they contact each other. Upon activation, the T-cells start proliferating and now circulate to start attacking tumor cells and destroying them. Thus DCs make it easier for the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells.
  • One “Educated” Dendritic Cell Activates Hundreds Of Anti-cancer Cells.
  • DC technology, as a relatively new methodology, is typically used on refractory patients: i.e. who have not responded to (or are unable to be treated any further by) surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
  • Professor Ralph Steinman, himself a cancer patient, pioneered (and used) modern DC technology and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2011.
  • Patients have shown a marked improvement in quality of life and lived beyond their remaining life prognosis.

What is APCEDEN®?

  • APCEDEN® is an autologous dendritic cell preparation manufactured by APAC Biotech.
  • It is a personalized treatment. The therapy is customized for each patient specific to their tumor.
  • Personalized targets: Tumor Antigens from patients own tumors are used. This ensures proper targeting of the Immune system.
  • Broad Scope of Targets: Full array of tumor antigens derived from biopsy/surgical tissue are used. This maximizes obstacles to tumor “escape.”
  • Excellent safety profile- Some Flu-like symptoms, no additional drugs, no hospital stays.

Manufacturing Process of APCEDEN® and Dosage Schedule

  • The therapy requires two separate cell collections from the patient:

Tumor cell collection – Surgical Tissue or tumor biopsy. Using a specialized kit, the tumor sample is collected and packaged for transport.

Apheresis collection – patient has to undergo Leukapharesis for collection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) which are precursors for preparation of mature dendritic cells.

What is Leukapheresis?

  • Leukapheresis is a process of collection of Peripheral blood Mononuclear cells through a cell separator. Through the circulation of blood the cells are collected and it takes approximately 2-4 hours to complete the process. These harvested PBMCs are processed in highly sophisticated lab by trained and specialized scientists to form a population of mature DCs.
  • APCEDEN® is ready for an infusion on the 8th day post receiving the Leukapheresis bag at the central lab.
  • After stringent Quality Checks (QC) as per US FDA guidelines, it is aliquoted and dispensed into respective vials and stored in vapor phase of liq. Nitrogen at -195 °
  • The 1st dose is shipped on the 8th day to clinical site for infusion in specialized tanks harboring vapor phase of liq. Nitrogen. Remaining of the subsequent five doses is shipped at 15 day intervals each. The whole schedule completes in 3 months following the Leukapheresis procedure.

About APAC Biotech

  • APAC Biotech Pvt. Ltd. is a leading biotechnology company involved in research and manufacturing of Dendritic cell based immunotherapy for treatment of cancer. Our Endeavour is to improve the life expectancy of cancer patients by providing safe and effective personalized dendritic cell based immunotherapy. Our product APCEDEN® has been developed after a thorough research based on the principles of Immunology and is the only approved DC based immunotherapy product in India.