Researchers from the biotech company ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (IMUC), Ltd., have presented data demonstrating that an immunological response is generated against cancer stem cells that are derived from a specific type of brain cancer known as glioblastoma.
Some types of cancer have been found to develop from their own unique type of cancer “master” or stem cells, and now a new type of cancer therapy may be possible by targeting the destruction of these cancer stem cells.
The cell surface marker CD-133 is found to be present on many different types of cancer stem cells and is therefore an excellent target for ICT-121, which is the name of IMUC’s proprietary cancer stem cell vaccine and which is specifically designed to generate a T-cell response against CD-133. Cancer stem cells which are CD-133-positve are perpetually self-renewing and notoriously resistant to standard therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. As such, these cancer stem cells are highly tumorigenic and metastatic. An immunotherapy such as ICT-121, which targets the cancer cells at their point of origin and source, namely, while they are still in their earliest and most primitive stage, may be effective in destroying the cancer cells and stopping their proliferative ability.
John Yu, M.D., founder, chairman of the board of IMUC, and co-inventor of the ICT-121 technology, presented the company’s data over the weekend at the International Society for the Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTC) Conference in San Diego. According to Dr. Yu,