In cases of oncological illness, the immune system is not capable of controlling the growth of tumour cells. To restore the system’s functions, it is necessary to modulate its activities using immunotherapy.
Specific active immunotherapy with Dendritic Cell Vaccines (DCV) is a newly emerging and potent form of cancer immunotherapy that has clinically relevant mechanisms of action with great potential for the systemic treatment of cancers. It aims to reprogram the anti-tumour immune response from cancer accepting (tolerogenic) to cancer destroying (immunogenic) state. DCV does not affect the cancer directly; the therapeutic effect is instead caused by “nurturing” the immune system so that rather than tolerating the cancer cells, it recognizes them and takes action to control their activities.
The active ingredients in this vaccine are dendritic cells designed to activate the patient’s immune system to restore their body’s ability to control the activities of cancer cells. Immunotherapy with dendritic cell vaccine (DCV) is a personalized cancer therapy, whose applicability to a particular patient is determined by various factors, including patient’s general health status and comorbidities, cancer stage as well as standard treatment strategy.
Dendritic cells are collected from patient’s blood, loaded with tumor antigens and matured in a specially designed GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) laboratory which meets strict quality control and surveillance requirements. Once loaded with tumour antigens and matured correctly, dendritic cells are being activated to induce the immune response when injected back into patient’s bloodstream. It does not directly affect cancer and has a therapeutic effect by 'nurturing' the immune system and forcing it to recognize and control cancer cells rather than tolerate them.
Cancer immunotherapy can be individually applied to treat skin melanoma, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, gliomas of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). At the discretion of physicians, this immunotherapy may be used to treat other malignancies.
Cancer immunotherapy with cytokine-induced killer cells (CIKs) is one of the treatments for passive immunotherapy because, unlike active immunotherapy with dendritic cell preparations, CIKs are able to bind directly to and kill cancer cells. Numerous clinical trials have shown that CIK cells can help prevent disease recurrence, stop its progression, and increase overall survival, while improving the quality of life of cancer patients. The main active cells in CIK are CD3+ / CD56+ cells, which are rarely found in uncultured peripheral blood. They have high proliferation rates and potent anti-cancer effects due to the dual functional action of T cells and NK cells, are low in cytotoxicity to healthy cells, but have a particularly specific effect on cancer cells.
Once in the patient's body, the CIK immediately travels to the site where the tumor forms and begins to kill the cancer cells. They detect the latter in response to alarms sent by the patient's body. CIKs work instantly, they don’t need any help from the patient’s own immune system. This is especially important in patients whose condition is so weak that the body is no longer able to respond to the disease on its own. Due to this property, CIKs are classified as passive immunotherapy because they do not strengthen the human immune system, but fundamentally change it.
Passive immunotherapy methods, such as CIK or monoclonal antibodies, are also perfectly compatible with active immunotherapy, which aims to mobilize the patient's immune system. This combination makes it possible to exploit both the speed of passive therapy and the long-term effectiveness of active therapy. An excellent example of a combination of these methods could be treatment with both CIK and dentritic cells. These therapies work on very different principles, but at the same time create a broad and complex response to cancer. There is evidence that chemotherapy increases the sensitivity of cancer to immunotherapy and radiation therapy, and vice versa. Based on these data, the concept of chemoimmunotherapy is gaining ground in oncology, which states that immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or target therapy alone are not capable of effectively controlling cancer, and therefore a rational combination of these cancer treatments is necessary.
Cancer immunotherapy is given in a medical facility where the doctor has prescribed this treatment to the patient. Our laboratory manufactures and dispenses certified preparation (s) to the medical institution for its application according to the doctor's prescription. The physician develops a treatment plan for the patient, appropriately combining dendritic cell and / or cytokine-induced killer cell preparations with standard cancer therapies.
DCV and CIK preparations are made for autologous and allogeneic use.
See our leaflet for more information.