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Autologous immune cell therapy tested in liver cancer patients - drugdiscovery.com


Autologous immune cell therapy tested in liver cancer patients - drugdiscovery.com
Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc., a biomedicine firm engaged in the development of proprietary cell therapies for certain degenerative and malignant diseases, announced positive results from its phase I clinical trial, which evaluated the TC-DC (Tumor Stem Cell Specific Dendritic Cell) therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer. This open-label single center clinical trial was conducted with Shanghai's PLA 85 Hospital, one of China's largest liver disease centers. The trial evaluated the safety and preliminary efficacy of TC-DC therapy aimed at lowering the incidence of tumor recurrence and metastasis by means of autologous immune cell therapy in primary HCC patients following standard tumor surgery and local administration of chemotherapy, directly to the tumor via a catheter. According to the TC-DC protocol, cancer stem cells isolated from a patient's resected tumor sample are enriched and inactivated, which are then added in vitro to dendritic cells obtained from the same patient's blood. These phagocytic cells can be found both in the circulation and in lymphoid/non-lymphoid tissues where they function as the most potent antigen-presenting immune cells. During the in vitro phase, dendritic cells recognize, take up, process, and present antigens of the inactivated HCC stem cells. Being loaded with cancer antigens, these cells then were administered to the patient via a series of subcutaneous injections. In the body, activated dendritic cells stimulate the immune system eliciting tumor antigen-specific immune responses against residing cancer stem cells, which are the root cause of cancer relapse and metastasis.

Safety data from the trial have shown:

- no adverse events related to the injection site;

- a few mild, transient adverse events related to the therapy, which were mitigated with drug treatment;

- one serious adverse event, which was deemed by the Investigators to be pre-treatment tumor recurrence;

- no laboratory abnormalities.

Taking into consideration these favourable results, researchers are now in a position to plan a phase II trial to further test the safety and efficacy of the TC-DC immunotherapy.

By Ferenc Zsila M.D., Ph.D.

Tags: cancer stem cell, dendritic cell, immunotherapy, liver cancer, phase I trial, liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC, clinical trial, immune cells, therapy, dendritic cells - August 26, 2013


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