What is Immunotherapy with a Whole Tumor Personalized Vaccine?
Each patient’s tumor is different and has a unique pool of antigens (markers), which can trigger an immune response to the tumor. Many of these significant antigens are unique to that tumor only and are not shared among other tumors. These facts highlight the unmet need of personalized medicine. Vaccines are forms of personalized medicine, which can educate individual’s immune system to fight a particular cancer specific to this individual.
Whole tumor personalized vaccine is a highly customized and personalized treatment derived from the patients’ own tumors. As noted above, such personalized medicine is designed to educate the immune system to fight one’s own cancer.
Tumors have to be harvested in a sterile environment, usually at the time of a surgery. They are transferred to a specialized lab where tumor cells are manipulated to make them easier recognizable by the immune system. When that step is attained, it is expected that the immune system can mount a defensive attack against a specific cancer.