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Fight Cancer by Dendritic Cells

Dendritic cell therapy (DCT) helps in fighting cancer…

For patients suffering from late stages of cancer who have exhausted all other mode of treatments, Dendritic cell therapy offers an increase in survival rate and improvement in life span. Similarly, for patients whose cancer has been cured through chemotherapy and radiation, Dendritic cell therapy can prevent recurrence or relapse of cancer. The therapy has no side effects and while cancer cells are destroyed, healthy cells are spared.

When cancer strikes a person, his or her immune system fails as a result of which the immune system fails to destroy the cancer cells when they first appear. Dendritic cell therapy empowers body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Dendritic cells are a type of immune cells present in every person’s blood. However, the quantum of dendritic cells present in blood is very low. The solution is to cultivate dendritic cells in lab and introduce them into the body.

Blood cells (monocytes) drawn from the patient undergo acculturation and maturation with exposure to tumour antigen in the laboratory to create dendritic cells. These cells are re-injected into the patient on the 8th day of blood collection. This massive dendritic participation activates the immune system. Specifically, the dendritic cells present the foreign antigens to the immune system’s T-cells. The T-cells circulate throughout the bloodstream and destroy leftover single cancer cells and cancer cell clusters.

US FDA has approved DCT for some solid cancers…

In 2010, US Food & Drug Administration approved usage of Dendritic cell therapy for solid cancers. The therapy is also practiced in China and South Korea. In India too, trials have been conducted.

If you are afflicted by solid tumour cancers like cancers of the bladder, bone, brain, breast, head & neck, gall-bladder, kidney, liver, lung, ovaries, pancreas, prostate, stomach and testicles, you may consider opting for Dendritic cell therapy.  In case you have been successfully cured of cancer, you must consider DCT to prevent relapse of cancer.

Cancertrack offers a simple blood test through which it is possible to detect cancer cells and their fragments. This enables monitoring continued freedom from cancer or recurrence of cancer, without the need for scans and painful biopsies.

New therapy to reduce cancer relapse...

Tata Memorial Hospital (TMC), Mumbai is researching a new Metronomics Maintenance Therapy (MMT) for breast cancer patients. In a pilot study, this low-cost low-maintenance therapy resulted in much lower relapse cases as compared to the standard chemotherapy treatment. MMT needs further studies, before it is adopted as a regular treatment. Do note that MMT has no connection with DCT described in earlier paragraphs above.

Another therapy licensed to Novartis concerns extracting T-cells from the patient, genetically altering them to attack blood cancer cells and putting them back into the patient. A variation being pursued by Collectis of France involves usage of T-cells from a healthy donor, modifying them to target leukemia cells and transferring them into the patient. In this case, by genome editing a gene is knocked off from the T-cells prior to transplanting so that the patients own 'good' cells are not attacked by the modified T-cells which after all originated from a donor.

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