THE ADVANCED CELL IMMUNOTHERAPY OR CANCER VACCINATION, is a way to administer immune system cells activated in vitro where patients require efficient and sustained activation of the immune response to achieve combat onintratumoral or circulating malignant cells without causing damage to other types of cells in the body, it is a form of personalized and specific treatment for the molecular characteristics of tumors.
Activated Dendritic Cells with Tumor Cell Antigens
- – Dendritic cells are special types of cells that carry out the presentation of tumor antigens to cytotoxic T lymphocytes; thereby these cells help the body destroy cancer cells.
- – In our program the dendritic cells are autologous, monocytes from patients are transformed into antigen presenting dendritic cells, and in this way each vaccine is personalized and precise.
- – The process to obtain them is complex, but in the laboratory monocytes are cultured with a variety of cytokines and other growth factors to create the differentiation of these cells into dendritic cells, signals from the tumor or best said, antigens of each tumor, is different in each patient, for this reason, our dendritic cells are stimulated and matured with antigens from each patient’s own cancer cells, this way the signal is obtained more directly and effectively.
- – Once the maturation of cells is obtained, they are introduced back into the patient subcutaneously near clusters of lymph nodes, thereby facilitating access of cells to the lymph node, which is the site where the antigen presentation is carried out.
Natural killer cells (NK Cells)
Natural Killer Lymphocytes or NK cells, are a sort of lymphocytes which are characterized by containing gramzyms and perforins, substances which result in death of the target cells, such as cancer cells and infected cells, these cells have the capacity of not requiring antigen presenting cells, like dendritic cells in order to act, these lymphocytes can recognize target cells and join them by a series of proteins, mainly MHC I, achieving the identification and destruction of (target)affected cells, without affecting the NK cells.
These lymphocytes are capable of acting in circulation, as part of our program their aim is to basically destroy circulating tumor cells, thereby decreasing tumor burden, delaying the appearance of metastases and keeping the disease in remission for longer periods of time.
Activated CitotoxicLymphocytes (LAK CELLS)
Cytotoxic lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells are specialized cells that lyse or destroy target cells, these cells can be infected cells or cancer cells, these cells recognize an outer portion of these cells so they release a protein that begins perforating the cell membrane called “perforin” killing cells and secondly they release other proteins that change the internal pH of target cells called “gramzyms” thereby causing cell death. Other more complex mechanism is activating a cascade of proteins called “caspases”, that at the end their activation they cause apoptosis or target cell death.
The activation of these cells is what makes them effective, there are various trigger mechanisms but the most used are cytokines or the binding to dendritic cells.
The use of these cells is referred to as Adoptive Cell Therapy, which is an important part of our program. Patients receive a combination of dendritic cells, activated cytotoxic cells and natural killer cells thereby strengthening the antitumor response of each patient.