Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy

Autologous dendritic cell vaccines (DC) are an innovative cell-based immunotherapy to fight cancer. Its therapeutic approach specifies it as a somatic cell therapeutic in the newly created drug class of drugs for advanced therapies (also ATMPs for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products).

The basis of this therapy is the activation of the patient's immune system through the use of in vitro-matured, tumor-specific, patient's own dendritic cells. These highly specifically trained cells compensate for a mistake that previously prevented the patient's immune system from fighting the cancer.

The original function of dendritic cells in the immune system is antigen recognition and antigen presentation of structures recognized as foreign or degenerated, such as cancer cells. Their job is then to activate the immune system by, among other things, activating natural killer and T-cells to fight the cancer cells that have been discovered.

Autologous DC therapy is the epitome of personalized medicine and has no serious side effects due to the use of the patient's own cells.

Another advantage of DC therapy is that the cells are not attacked by most chemotherapy drugs and a combination with them would therefore be possible.

Only a small amount of the patient's blood is required for production and their immune system can then fight the cancer on its own.

Cell-Free Immunotherapy

This novel therapy is able to use intercellular communication and stimulation of cells as a therapeutic approach. Communication between cells takes place, among other things, through the secretion of messenger substances, which in turn are absorbed by other body cells and whose task is carried out, for example in the case of wound healing, the activation or deactivation of inflammatory processes or generally act as immunological mediators.

In addition to these messenger substances, also known as growth factors, cellular communication also occurs through vesicles containing exosomes, proteins and nucleic acids, which are formed by cells by pinching off the cell membrane.

This process can be replicated in vitro with the body's own cells, such as leukocytes, dendritic cells or mesenchymal stem cells and is known in classical cell biology as conditioned medium (CM).

Using targeted stimulation, the cells in the laboratory are encouraged to secrete the messenger substances and release them into the surrounding medium. With this CM obtained from a small amount of the patient's blood, it is then possible to therapeutically support regenerative processes.