Whole Tumor Vaccination

Patient information

Combination therapy:
Regional Chemotherapy and Whole Tumor Vaccination

  1. In principle the human immune system fulfills the requirements for fighting cancer cells. Innumerable times malign cells are killed by the immune system in each of our bodies, unnoticed by us. However, in certain circumstances tumor cells succeed in escaping the surveillance of the immune system and proliferate. Through this escape mechanism a tumor develops.
  2. The natural and most effective method combating a tumor is activating the immune system to its ordinary function, that is, attacking the tumor. A whole tumor vaccination alerts the immune system and induces proliferation of body’s own immune cells which then infiltrate the tumor and kill tumor cells.
  3. However, a huge tumor mass has to be reduced by chemotherapy. Whole tumor vaccination completes the treatment and protects from new tumor growth at the best possible.

Method:

Regional Chemotherapy is characterized by outstanding response rates. A subsequent vaccination enhances the abatement of the tumor and keeps the immune system on alert for the surveillance and attacking of new tumor growth. Regional Chemotherapy is complemented in an ideal way with tumor vaccination.Personalized whole tumor vaccination leads your own immune system to recognize individual markers on your tumor. It is stimulated for attacking the cancer and will help prolonge tumor progression free time.

Procedure:

From a biopsy of your tumor a vaccination is individually prepared for you. The vaccination is specialized in your tumor.

Schedule:

The vaccination is included in the treatment with regional chemotherapy, so that your stay in hospital will rarely or not at all be extended. During the first cycle of regional chemotherapy (RCT) a biopsy will be taken and personalized vaccination will be prepared in a specialized laboratory. A few weeks later, with the second cycle of RCT four of your personalized inoculation will be administered. With the third cycle another two of your personalized vaccinations will be given. A vaccination during the first cycle also is recommended. For not losing time until the personalized vaccination is prepared, it is possible to obtain a peptide vaccination for stimulation of the immune system in advance.

whole_tumor_antigen_vaccine
Whole Tumor Antigen vaccine

tumor_immunity_cycle
Tumor immunity cycle

Frequently asked questions:

What are the adverse effects?
Rarely, as a side effect of vaccination fever and fatigue occurs.

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 a tumor immune response. Moreover 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 a form of personalized medicine, where one can educate the immune system to fight one’s own cancer.

With a whole tumor personalized vaccine, the patients’ own tumors are used to create a personalized vaccine, which can educate the immune system to fight one’s own cancer. Tumors have to be harvested in a sterile manner at time of surgery and transferred to a specialized lab where tumor cells are manipulated making them easier to be recognized by the immune system.

Should a vaccine be used by itself or in combination?
Vaccines mount a reasonable immune response in patients, however in advanced cases if one wants to boost this immune response then one should combine the vaccine with chemotherapy or radiotherapy or different immunomodulatory agents that synergize with the vaccine and boosts its efficacy.

What is regional chemo?
Regional chemotherapy (RCT) is chemotherapy restricted to one region of the body or to one organ. The principle of regional chemotherapy treatment (RCT) is to reduce the size of typically extensive tumours without harming patients. Compared with systemic chemotherapy, RCT mitigates and largely prevents side effects by means of immediate post-treatment detoxification through chemo-filtration. It can result in total tumour regression or a reduction in tumour size, including any regional metastases. Remaining tumours can then be removed by surgery.

Why is vaccine and regional chemo therapy a good combination?
Not only does RCT limit the side effects associated with systemic chemotherapy and often melts large tumors but it also induces a local killing effect on the tumor itself releasing all the tumor antigens into the blood system and therefore activating the immune system to against the cancer tissue.

This immune response only lasts for a limited time (a few days) however. The combination of RCT and personalized vaccination can ensure that the strong immune response is maintained boosted further, thus giving patients’ immune system a chance to fight their cancer longer term and in-parallel to other treatments regimens.

How are whole tumor vaccines different from other immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy can come in different forms. It could be drug based or cell based. Drug based immunotherapies (with antibodies) activate the immune system without specificity while the treatment offered at medias is first an induction of the immune system through RCT followed by personalized vaccination which induces an immune response against patient’s own antigens, and therefore a completely personalized approach.