Immuno-cell therapy is developed under the concept in connection to efficient use of general function of body, so-called as immune system. The immune system is generally functioned to protect human body from disease by identifying and attacking abnormal cells, such as cancer cells and virus-infected cells. Therefore, the immuno-cell therapy is to improve patient's immunity by using patient's own immuno-cells (autologous cells), which are activated and proliferated through cell-processing outside of his/her body, in order to attack the abnormal cells, effectively.
Immuno-cell therapy is classified as a cell therapy as well as a regenerative medicine represented by cultured skin and cartilage, and stem cell transplant, and includes various types of immuno-cell therapy by different functions of immuno-cells.
A remarkable characteristic of immuno-cell therapy is that the therapy has no adverse reaction in essence, as the therapy gives few damages to the patient's body owing to the use of the patient-derived cells (autologous cells). Therefore, it enables patients to receive a treatment without staying in hospital, so-called as outpatient-based treatment.
Immuno-cell therapy has already been applied clinically as a systemic treatment in cancer treatment in order to keep patient's QOL (Quality of Life) at higher level. University hospitals and other medical institutions carry out active basic research and technical development of immuno-cell therapy for improvement of its efficacy and safety.
Killing Burkitt's Lymphoma Cell
Video below shows αβT-LAK Cells, which are activated using MEDINET's state-of-the-art cell engineering technology supported by its intensive cell processing experience, attacking cancer cells to cause apoptosis of the cancer cells.
- 0-8 second:
- An αβT-LAK cell finds a Burkitt's Lymphoma cell and adheres the Lymphoma cell.
- 9-21 second:
- Then the αβT-LAK cell attacks the Lymphoma cell and infuses various kinds of secreting agents such as Perforin into the Lymphoma cell.
- 22-32 second:
- The Lymphoma cell causes apoptosis, so that intracellular substances of the Lymphoma cell such as cytoplasm and nuclear leak out through cell membrance.
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Type of Immuno-Cell Therapy
Immuno-cell therapy is mainly classified into two categories, such as "Dendritic Cell Vaccine Therapy" and "Activated Autologous Lymphocyte Therapy". Respective characteristics of each therapy are as followed;-
Dendritic Cell Vaccine Therapy
Monocytes are isolated from peripheral blood of patient, and are differentiated to DCs. Such DCs are cultured with proteins extracted from cancer cells or synthesized peptides (conjunctions of several to somedozen of amino acids), which enables DCs to present antigens on their surface. Then DCs are reinfused to the patient. It is expected that those antigen-presenting cells induce tumor-specific T lymphocytes by presenting them to T-lymphocytes in-vivo.
We originally developed DC Vaccine therapy using DCs co-pulsed with tumor antigen and Zoledronate, and also brought the electroporation technology, Cell Loading System, into the DCs cell processing. By the combination of those technologies, DCs can efficiently take up more tumor antigens, resulted in higher induction of tumor antigen-specific CTLs .
Activated Autologous Lymphocyte Therapy
One of the immuno-cell therapies is based on the use of T-cell group, including lymphocytes, which plays a central role in immune response. In medical practice, such Activated Autologous Lymphocyte Therapy will be reinfused into a patient after activation and proliferation of the T-cells outside of his/her body. The cell-processing of the T-cells is represented as below;-
- (1) Collection of lymphocytes from patient's blood
- (2) Activation and proliferation of the T-cells by using pharmaceutical agents
- (3) Wash-out of the pharmaceutical agents
- (4) Reinfusion of the T cells to patient
This Activated Autologous Lymphocyte Therapy has the most accumulated clinical experience among immuno-cell therapies, and is divided into following therapies by cell-processing methods and/or properties of T-cells after activation.
- 1. NK-cell Therapy
- NK (Natural Killer) cells are a type of lymphocyte and induce death in cancer and virus-infected cells. NK cells represent up to 10% of peripheral blood lymphocytes. Such lymphocytes are selectively activated and proliferated with mixture of interleukin-2 outside of his/her body, and then are reinfused to the patient.
- 2. γδT-cell Therapy (Gamma-Delta T-Cell Therapy)
- Lymphocytes, including αβT-cell, γδT-cell, NK cell, and other cells, are isolated from peripheral blood of a patient. Such lymphocytes are selectively activated and proliferated with mixture of aminobisphosphonate, Zoledronate, and interleukin-2 outside of his/her body, and then are reinfused to the patient.
After the activation of the lymphocytes, number of the γδT-cells will be much more than the αβT-Cell Therapy.
- 3. αβT-cell Therapy (Alpha-Beta T-cell Therapy)
- Lymphocytes, including αβT-cell, γδT-cell, NK cell, and other cells, are isolated from peripheral blood of a patient. Such lymphocytes are activated and proliferated with anti-CD3 antibodies and interleukin-2 outside of his/her body, and then are reinfused to the patient.
After the activation of the lymphocytes, number of the αβT-cells will be approximately 90% of all of the cells.
- 4. CTL Therapy (Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Therapy)
- T-Lymphocytes are isolated from peripheral blood of a patient. Such lymphocytes are activated and induced as Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes ("CTL") specific to cancer cells by using tumor antigens derived from pleural or peritoneal effusion of the cancer patient, and then are reinfused to the patient.
At present, we provide cell-processing technology for "Dendritic Cell Vaccine Therapy","NK-cell Therapy","γδT-cell Therapy","αβT-cell Therapy" and "CTL Therapy" to our Contracted Medical Institutions. We also carry out several R&D activities for developments of advanced technologies, which lead to higher clinical efficacy in medical practice. Those advanced technologies will be properly included in our service through collaborative clinical studies at university hospitals.
Immunostaining Test "Step Forward to Custom-Made Medical Practice"
Immunostaining test is based upon immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining technique, and detects expression status of specific molecule, such as MHC class I, on the surface of cancer cells by using resected cancer tissues of a patient. By expression level of the MHC class I, treatment option of a patient will be determined either "tumor-specific immuno-cell therapy," such as Dendritic Cell Vaccine Therapy, "tumor-nonspecific immuno-cell therapy," namely Activated Autologous Lymphocyte Therapy, or combination therapy with tumor-specific and tumor-nonspecific immuno-cell therapies.
This immunostaining test can be taken at our Contracted Medical Institutions, for example, Medical Corporation KOSHIKAI, Seta Clinic Group (“Seta Clinic Group”).
Medical Facilities Providing Immuno-Cell Therapy
The Seta Clinic Group, a medical cooperation contracting with MEDINET, and allied medical institutions with the Seta Clinic Group also provides immuno-cell therapies based on our technology.