Summary information of antitumor TAPCells® technology
TAPCells® is an antitumor technology developed by the biotechnology company Oncobiomed, collectively with the University of Chile, since 2001. TAPCells® can be used against melanoma and prostate cancer.
TAPCells® can be used against melanoma and prostate cancer. In the case of melanoma, there have been exhaustive clinical tests performed, including one Phase I clinical trial and two Phase II clinical trials. There have been conclusive results obtained that have allowed for the patenting of the technology and the publication of several high impact papers in very prestigious international medical journals, such as:
2013. Brit J. Cancer. Tumor Cell Lysate Loaded-Dendritic Cell Vaccine Induces Biochemical And Memory Immune Response In Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Patients. 2013. Cancer Immunol. Immunother. The immunological and Clinical Outcomes of DC-Vaccinated Melanoma Patients Are Associated with Increased Th1/Th17 and Reduced Th3 Cytokine Responses. 2012. Cancer Immunol. Immunother. Toll-Like Receptor 4 gene polymorphism influences dendritic cell in vitro function and clinical outcomes in vaccinated melanoma patients. 2011. Clin Cancer Res. Heat Shock Induction of Tumor-Derived Danger Signals Mediate Rapid Monocyte Differentiation to Clinically Effective Dendritic Cells. 2009. J. Clin. Oncol. Prolonged survival of dendritic cell-vaccinated melanoma patients correlates with tumor-specific delayed type IV hypersensitivity response and reduction of tumor growth factor ß -expressing T cells. 2007. Cytokine Growth Factor. Paradoxical effects of cytokines in tumor immune surveillance and tumor immune escape. 2006. Immunobiology. The role of regulatory T lymphocytes in the induced immune response mediated by biological vaccines. 2005. Clin Exp Immunol. Dendritic cell immunizations alone or combined with low doses of interleukin-2 induce specific immune responses in melanoma patients.
TAPCells® therapeutic strategy is based on the external stimulation of the patient’s immune system to induce a specific response against the tumor cells. For that purpose, each patient’s blood is extracted and then isolated as a specific set of cells called monocytes from the white blood cell population. These cells are then stimulated in a high security laboratory with protein factors called cytokines and an extract of tumor cells (TRIMEL®). This process constitutes the main innovation of this technology, since it transforms the monocytes into professional antigens presenting cells similar to dendritic cells, denominated TAPCells® (Tumor Antigen Presenting Cells), these cells are re-injected subcutaneously into patients in order to generate an immunological response that specifically activates T “killer” cells, that are able to recognize and destroy tumor cells in the organism.
General scheme of process development and TAPCells® treatment
1. The patient is subjected to leukapheresis in order to obtain rich cell concentrate in monocytes. 2.The cell concentrate is processed in a high-security laboratory. 3. The monocytes are cultured with cytokines and TRIMEL® for 48 hours, generating TAPCells®. Simultaneously, for other non-melanoma tumors, tumor lysate specific is added, which supplies the antigens associated to tumors. 4. TAPCells® are ready for clinical use. 5. TAPCells® are stored as 4 doses that conform the TAPCells® cellular immunotherapy, which are then sent to the treating Medical Oncologist. 6. The Medical Oncologist applies TAPCells® cellular immunotherapy to the patient, according to the protocol.
Treatment in Chile
The chilean legislation allows TAPCells® to be used to treat cancer under medical supervision. Currently, Oncobiomed has agreed to care for foreign patients with clinics in Chile under a treatment protocol that considers the following: The patient interested sends their exams for a preliminary medical opinion. If tests show that the patient may be a candidate for the treatment with TAPCells®, the treating physician will recommend applying the therapy. The patient travels to Chile to be treated with TAPCells®. The patient undergoes a process called leukapheresis, to obtain cell concentrate from their own blood. Oncobiomed elaborates 4 doses of therapy based on the patient’s blood. The patient is treated in a private clinic with TAPCells® therapy, following the established protocol.
To be treated with TAPCells® the foreign patient should take into account the following conditions.
1. Send all medical history.
2. Travel to Santiago, Chile.
3. Pay the cost of therapy according to the private clinic’s procedures.
4. Consider their stay in Chile for at least a span of two weeks for 2 occasions, and for a period of 3 months, according to the following clinical care agenda: Day 1 to 4. General medical evaluation. Signing documents. Leukapheresis. Development of vaccines that constitute the immune therapy. Day 5 to 15. Applying the first and second vaccine. Day 40. Applying the third vaccine. Day 70. Applying the fourth vaccine in clinic. Day 100. DTH examination in clinic, which indicates whether the patient presents a specific immune response against the tumor. Day 102. DTH Lecture.
TAPCells® application in conjunction with other therapies
TAPCells® is a therapy administered in conjunction with other therapies. In the case of being treated with chemotherapy, the patient must wait at least 30 days to restore normal blood levels of leukocytes.
Adverse side effects TAPCells® therapy has clinically proven to not produce side effects because it works by stimulating the patient’s proper immune system. With more than 300 patients treated with TAPCells®, it has demonstrated low toxicity, and only in certain cases presenting mild adverse events, such as upset after injection therapy, comparable to ailments that other vaccines cause, which disappear within 24 hrs.