EXTRACORPOREAL PHOTOPHERESIS

Estimulating the immune system to fight cancer Using ECP and DC´s.

In 1987 Dr.Richard Edelson from Yale University first introduced ECP as a therapy, and is now used worldwide in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, autoimmune diseases; transplant rejection, and graft-versus-host disease among others.

Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) is a therapy that works on a cellular level, and uses chemical substances to sensitize the cells to ultra violet light using a special irradiation device. ECP facilitates important processes, including the activation of specific molecules that induce apoptosis, a gentle way of destroying abnormal cells while activating the monocytes. The monocytes are co-cultured for 24 hours with growth factors, to promote growth, maturation and migration of dendritic cells and activation of T lymphocytes eliminating the tolerance against cancer cells. This fresh biological product is used in the form of vaccines for the next day and administered intravenously and subcutaneously as peptides aliquots of tumor-loaded dendritic cells. The final biological product can then be stored in vials in a freezer to be later thawed and administered weekly as an immunizer, and used as anti-tumoral doses.

UV-INDUCED DNA DAMAGE PROCESS:

  1. Cells exposed to UV light may undergo cell-cycle arrest, which
usually occurs at S phase or G-1 S boundary.
  2. The cell may repair itself and tolerate the damage before resuming
the cell cycle. Or, the cell may die by apoptosis.
  3. UV light favors apoptosis.

Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen presenting cells (APCs) that possess the ability to stimulate naïve T-cells. They comprise a system of leukocytes widely distributed in all tissues, especially in those that provide an environmental interface and have the ability to induce primary T-Cell dependent immune response in vitro and in vivo. This unique feature gives DC an important role in controlling immunity. Upon phagocytosis of apoptotic cells is dependent on the maturity of DC, Immature DC induces Tolerance, Mature Dendritics Cells initiates immune activation”.

These dendritic cells are highly effective with ECP to initiate the inmune response, that could target the unaltered remainder of malignant cells, eliminating minimal residual disease. ECP is also used for patients who have had no hope with conventional treatments.