High-Dose Intravenous Vitamin C Therapy at Riordan Clinic Offers New Hope to Young Cancer Patient After Chemotherapy Fails


Hoyt Lee

Hoyt Lee

After undergoing failed chemotherapy treatments and the debilitating side effects that go along with them, things are finally looking up for 6 year-old cancer patient, Hoyt Lee. Since starting high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy at the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas two and a half years ago, Hoyt’s condition stabilized and is now improving; something his oncologists said would likely never happen.

At just three months of age, doctors diagnosed Hoyt Lee with Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF-1). At 16 months old, he started chemotherapy for a brain tumor. After completing a grueling year of drug cocktails that wracked his young body, Hoyt’s mother, Shawna Overbey, received the news that she’d feared the most. Hoyt’s tumors were not responding to the chemo. They were growing.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) showed accelerated tumor growth in his optic nerve chiasm. The optic chiasm is an X-shaped structure formed by the crossing of the optic nerves in the brain. The tumor was affecting his right and left eyes, his pituitary gland, and his hypothalamus.

The only available treatment alternatives were radiation or a different chemotherapy cocktail that can cause nerve damage and affect motor skills like walking and hand movement.

That’s when Shawna knew there had to be another way. Countless hours of research lead Shawna and Hoyt to Dr. Ron Hunninghake at the Riordan Clinic, a non-profit organization in Wichita, Kansas that specializes in alternative cancer therapies. The Riordan Clinic was founded in 1975 by Dr. Hugh Riordan and benefactor Olive W. Garvey. It has been providing IV therapy to patients like Hoyt for the past 40 years.

The late Dr. Riordan and his son, Neil H. Riordan, PhD, were pioneers in the use of vitamin C to treat cancer. Far ahead of their time, they invented patents (6,448,287, 6,436,411, 6,284,786) on treating cancer with vitamin C that date back prior to the turn of this century. For the past 20 years, Nina Mikirova, PhD has carried on their cancer research at the clinic.

At present, Neil Riordan, PhD is a renowned applied stem cell therapy researcher whose clinic in Panama, Stem Cell Institute, specializes in treating inflammatory and autoimmune related conditions with human *umbilical cord tissue–derived mesenchymal stem cells. Dr. Riordan has also teamed up with board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Wade McKenna, DO to bring stem cell therapy for orthopedic conditions to Southlake, Texas at the Riordan-McKenna Institute (RMI). RMI uses a proprietary mixture of the patient’s own bone marrow stem cells with *amniotic tissue products. Patients can receive intravenous high-dose vitamin C and other intravenous nutritional supplements at Riordan Wellness, which occupies space at the RMI building in Southlake.

Decades after the Riordans’ pioneering research, ascorbic acid treatment for cancer is entering the mainstream, with clinical trials being conducted at John’s Hopkins, University of Iowa, Jefferson University and Cornell. A clinical trial on vitamin C and prostate cancer was recently completed at Copenhagen University Hospital at Herlev, Denmark and in a study published November 5th in Science, a team of researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Tufts Medical Center, Harvard Medical School and The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center found that high doses of vitamin C – roughly equivalent to the levels found in 300 oranges – impaired the growth of KRAS mutant and BRAF mutant colorectal tumors in cultured cells and mice.

Since undergoing IV high-dose vitamin C therapy, Hoyt Lee’s progress has been miraculous. According to his mother, MRIs have shown tumor stability or shrinkage over the past two and a half years. The tumor is no longer affecting his right eye, pituitary gland or hypothalamus. As of February 2016, there is almost no sign of a tumor in Hoyt’s optic nerve chiasm. Hoyt is doing so well that he won’t have to return to the hospital for another year.

“As Schopenhauer said, ‘All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.’,” said Dr. Riordan. “As far as high-dose vitamin C goes, I think that, fortunately, we are finally entering the third stage,’ he added.

“We are delighted with Hoyt’s progress and equally proud that through generous charitable contributions, we’ve been able to do it without the crushing costs that can be associated with conventional treatments like chemotherapy,” commented Donna Kramme, CEO of Riordan Clinic. “It can cost as much as $15,000 per year to treat a child like Hoyt. We ask that everyone who is passionate about helping children like Hoyt please contact the Riordan Clinic to donate today. Without your help we cannot continue vital research that will make Hugh Riordan’s dream four decades ago, a reality today and into the future,” she concluded.

About Riordan Clinic

Riordan Clinic is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), nutrition-based health facility in Wichita, Kansas. We have integrated lifestyle and nutrition to help you find the underlying causes of your illness. Since our inception in 1975, our mission has been clear and unwavering. Our functional medicine providers “stimulate an epidemic of health.”

People turn to the Riordan Clinic to restore, improve, and maintain health. Our integrative health practitioners listen to the needs of patients. Then we test and measure to map out a research-based, nutrition-fueled path to well being. Together, our professionals move beyond simply treating symptoms to address illness at its cause. Your Way to Well communicates a positive, hope-filled message. It stresses our individualized approach and achieves the best possible outcomes.

Riordan Clinic Website: http://www.riordanclinic.org

Riordan Clinic
3100 N. Hillside Ave.
Wichita, Kansas

Tel: (316) 682-3100
Fax: (316) 682-2062

About Riordan-McKenna Institute (RMI)

RMI specializes in non-surgical treatment of acute and chronic orthopedic conditions using *amniotic tissue allograft and bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) that is harvested using the patented BioMAC bone marrow aspiration cannula. Common conditions treated include meniscal tears, ACL injuries, rotator cuff injuries, runner’s knee, tennis elbow, and joint pain due to degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.

Additionally, RMI augments orthopedic surgeries with BMAC and amniotic tissue allograft to promote better post-surgical outcomes and uses amniotic membranes as part of a complete wound care treatment regimen.

BMAC contains a patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells (MSC,) hematopoietic stem cells (CD34+), growth factors and other progenitor cells. Amniotic tissue allograft is composed of collagens and other structural proteins, which provide a biologic matrix that supports angiogenesis, tissue growth and new collagen during tissue regeneration and repair.
*Amniotic tissue is donated after normal healthy births.

Riordan-McKenna Institute Website: http://www.rmiclinic.com

Riordan-McKenna Institute
801 E. Southlake Blvd.
Southlake, Texas

Tel: (817) 776-8155
Toll Free: (877) 899-7836
Fax: (817) 776-8154

About Stem Cell Institute Panama

Founded in 2007 on the principles of providing unbiased, scientifically sound treatment options; the Stem Cell Institute (SCI) has matured into the world’s leading adult stem cell therapy and research center. In close collaboration with universities and physicians world-wide, our comprehensive stem cell treatment protocols employ well-targeted combinations of autologous bone marrow stem cells, autologous adipose stem cells, and donor human umbilical cord stem cells to treat: autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.

In partnership with Translational Biosciences, a subsidiary of Medistem Panama, SCI provides clinical services for ongoing clinical trials that are assessing safety and signs of efficacy for autism, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and spinal cord injury using allogeneic umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSC) and hU-MSC-derived mesenchymal trophic factors (MTF). In 2017, Translation Biosciences plans to expand its clinical trial portfolio to include heart disease and cerebral palsy.

For more information on stem cell therapy:

Stem Cell Institute Website: https://www.cellmedicine.com

Aquilino de la Guardia Street
BICSA Financial Center
63rd Floor
Panama City, Panama

*Tissue is donated after normal, healthy births.

FDA poised to outlaw breast reconstruction for breast cancer survivors using their own fat tissue

FDA-NotApprovedStampThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration held public hearings for two days this week to allow for public commenting on proposed guidance relating to the regulation of human cells, tissues or tissue-based products.

In its current form, this guidance will classify a woman’s own fat tissue as a drug when used in breast reconstruction procedures. This is certainly bad news for the over 100,000 female cancer patients who seek this procedure each year.

According to the FDA, the sole purpose of a woman’s breast is to lactate. Of course that begs the question of what the purpose of a man’s breast might be but we will leave that for another day. Since fat from other parts of the body does not produce milk, it cannot be transferred into a woman’s breast.

Specifically, in its industry guidance entitled Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps) from Adipose Tissue: Regulatory Considerations; Draft Guidance, the FDA states, “The basic function of breast tissue is to produce milk (lactation) after childbirth. Because this is not a basic function of adipose [fat] tissue, using HCT/Ps from adipose tissues for breast augmentation would generally be considered a non-homologous use.” “Homologous use” refers to a tissue’s ability to serve the same “basic function or functions” as the tissue into which it is being transplanted. So in this case, “non-homologous” use equals FDA-regulated “drug”.

That’s right ladies. Your fat tissue is an FDA-regulated drug if your doctor wishes to use it to help reconstruct your breasts following a mastectomy unless she goes through the FDA drug approval process, which can take a decade or two and cost upwards of 2 billion dollars. Needles to say, this is a financial burden that no doctor, clinic or hospital can bear. Once finalized, this new guidance will effectively shut the door on using a woman’s own fat tissue to help reconstruct her breasts.

And it doesn’t stop there. According to the FDA, in most cases, our own cells are drugs too. An FDA panel member even went so far as to state that our blood is an FDA-regulated drug.

For example, if your doctor wants to remove a small sample of bone marrow from your hip and inject part of it into your knee because she has read the literature and believes it can help you heal without surgery, the FDA says that’s verboten because you guessed it – it’s a drug that is subject to the full FDA drug approval process.

As the FDA becomes increasing intrusive in our lives, restricting the ability of licensed medical doctors to practice medicine, one has to wonder where it all will end? The answer seems to be that once the FDA has its way, our bodies, down to the very last cell, will be classified as drugs, and therefore subject to federal regulation by the FDA.

If you agree that the FDA has no business outlawing the use of your own fat tissue to reconstruct your breasts, please spread the word and ask your friends, family members and doctors to let the FDA know what you think before September 27th by commenting here: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FDA-2014-D-1856-0061

You might also consider contacting your local congressman, congresswoman, and state senators.

2016-09-15T16:40:41+00:00September 15th, 2016|Bone Marrow Stem Cells, Breast Cancer, Cancer, FDA, News|

Modulation of Cytokines in Cancer Patients by Intravenous Ascorbate Therapy

IV-Vitamin-CNina Mikirova, Neil Riordan, Joseph Casciari

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:14-25
DOI: 10.12659/MSM.895368

BACKGROUND: Cytokines play an important role in tumor angiogenesis and inflammation. There is evidence in the literature that high doses of ascorbate can reduce inflammatory cytokine levels in cancer patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of treatment by intravenous vitamin C (IVC) on cytokines and tumor markers.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: With the availability of protein array kits allowing assessment of many cytokines in a single sample, we measured 174 cytokines and additional 54 proteins and tumor markers in 12 cancer patients before and after a series of IVC treatments.

RESULTS: Presented results show for our 12 patients the effect of treatment resulted in normalization of many cytokine levels. Cytokines that were most consistently elevated prior to treatments included M-CSF-R, Leptin, EGF, FGF-6, TNF-α, β, TARC, MCP-1,4, MIP, IL-4, 10, IL-4, and TGF-β. Cytokine levels tended to decrease during the course of treatment. These include mitogens (EGF, Fit-3 ligand, HGF, IGF-1, IL-21R) and chemo-attractants (CTAC, Eotaxin, E-selectin, Lymphotactin, MIP-1, MCP-1, TARC, SDF-1), as well as inflammation and angiogenesis factors (FGF-6, IL-1β, TGF-1).

CONCLUSIONS: We are able to show that average z-scores for several inflammatory and angiogenesis promoting cytokines are positive, indicating that they are higher than averages for healthy controls, and that their levels decreased over the course of treatment. In addition, serum concentrations of tumor markers decreased during the time period of IVC treatment and there were reductions in cMyc and Ras, 2 proteins implicated in being upregulated in cancer.

Read Full Article…

2016-02-15T17:06:37+00:00February 15th, 2016|Cancer, Neil Riordan, News, PhD|

Why Stem Cells Work: Clinical Trials for Spinal Cord Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy

Neil Riordan, PhD speaks at the Riordan-McKenna Institute and Stem Cell Institute fall seminar in Southlake, Texas on October 10, 2015.

Dr. Riordan discusses:

  • How our lab selects uses specialized screening techniques to select only the stem cells that we know will be the most useful for our patients. Only about 1 in 100 cords pass this screening process.
  • How umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) control inflammation, modulate the immune system and stimulate regeneration.
  • How the number and function of our own stem cells decline over time.
  • How MSC secretions promote healing
  • Where MSCs are found in our body
  • First clinic trial in the US using umbilical cord tissue-derived stem cells
  • How MSC doubling times dramatically decrease as people age, which is why cord cells are much more robust than a patient’s own cells as they age
  • The origin of Medistem Lab in Panama
  • Why the Stem Cell Institute and Medistem Labs are in Panama
  • Stem cell therapy laws and approvals around the world
  • Global interest in mesenchymal stem cell therapy research
  • Current clinical trials using mesenchymal stem cells
  • Clinical trials in Panama
  • Collaborations with corporations and educational institutions
  • Mesenchymal stem cell selection, donor selection, and testing
  • Brief tour of Medistem Panama stem cell laboratory
  • Isolation and production of mesenchymal stem cells
  • Discovery of mesenchymal stem cells in menstrual blood
  • Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell studies for rheumatoid arthritis
  • The role of T-regulatory cells in rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis
  • Treating spinal cord injuries with mesenchymal stem cells
  • Mechanism of mesenchymal stem cells on spinal cord injury. They are not becoming tissue. It’s their secretions that allow the spinal cord to heal itself.
  • Umbilical cord MSC studies on spinal cord injury
  • Data from Stem Cell Institute spinal cord injury patients
  • Video from treated spinal cord injury patients
  • Postnatal MSC safety
  • MSCs and cancer risk – MSCs have been shows to actually inhibit tumor growth

The dual effect of MSCs on tumour growth and tumour angiogenesis

Michelle Kéramidas, Florence de Fraipont, Anastassia Karageorgis, Anaïck Moisan, Virginie Persoons, Marie-Jeanne Richard, Jean-Luc Coll and Claire Rome

Abstract (provisional)

Understanding the multiple biological functions played by human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) as well as their development as therapeutics in regenerative medicine or in cancer treatment are major fields of research. Indeed, it has been established that hMSCs play a central role in the pathogenesis and progression of tumours, but their impact on tumour growth remains controversial.

Our results suggest that hMSCs injection decreased solid tumour growth in mice and modified tumour vasculature, which confirms hMSCs could be interesting to use for the treatment of pre-established tumours.


In this study, we investigated the influence of hMSCs on the growth of pre-established tumours. We engrafted nude mice with luciferase-positive mouse adenocarcinoma cells (TSA-Luc+) to obtain subcutaneous or lung tumours. When tumour presence was confirmed by non-invasive bioluminescence imaging, hMSCs were injected into the periphery of the SC tumours or delivered by systemic intravenous injection in mice bearing either SC tumours or lung metastasis.


Regardless of the tumour model and mode of hMSC injection, hMSC administration was always associated with decreased tumour growth due to an inhibition of tumour cell proliferation, likely resulting from deep modifications of the tumour angiogenesis. Indeed, we established that although hMSCs can induce the formation of new blood vessels in a non-tumoural cellulose sponge model in mice, they do not modify the overall amount of haemoglobin delivered into the SC tumours or lung metastasis. We observed that these tumour vessels were reduced in number but were longer.


Our results suggest that hMSCs injection decreased solid tumour growth in mice and modified tumour vasculature, which confirms hMSCs could be interesting to use for the treatment of pre-established tumours.

Original Link: http://stemcellres.com/content/4/2/41/abstract

2013-04-30T18:17:29+00:00April 30th, 2013|Cancer, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, News, Stem Cell Research|

Killing of the iPS Field?

Zhao et al. Nature.
Embryonic stem cells are associated with numerous ethical dilemmas. The creation of equivalents of ES cells through retrodifferentiation led to a new area of research that does not require destruction of life. Specifically, it was discovered that any adult cell can be transfected with several genes, which results in the cell taking the phenotype and function of cells that appear to be very similar to embryonic stem cells. These cells can give rise to any tissue that embryonic stem cells give rise to, and unfortunately, like embryonic stem cells for teratomas (tumors). We made a video to explain this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RLlUdJLy74.
One of the most exciting medical properties of iPS cells is that they can be made from a donor and theoretically the cells and their differentiated offspring should not be rejected by the donor. This would allow for generation of compatible cells, without the need for immune suppression. However, a recent study suggests that this may not be the case.
In the study (Zhao et al. Immunogenicity of induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 2011 May 13) investigators assessed the ability of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) to stimulate immune responses using inbred, genetically identical mice. They found that embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from C57BL/6 (B6) mice can efficiently form teratomas (an aggressive type of tumor) in B6 mice (syngeneic) without any evident immune rejection. However, when allogeneic ESCs from 129/SvJ mice where transplanted into B6 mice, they were rapidly rejected by the B6 immune system. This by itself is interesting because transplantation of adult stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, does not lead to rejection when transplanted between mouse strains.
When B6 mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were reprogrammed into iPSCs by either retroviral approach (ViPSCs) or a novel episomal approach (EiPSCs) that causes no genomic integration and transplanted into B6 mice rejection was observed. Specifically, the retrovirally-generated iPS cells were more immunogenic than those generated by the novel episomal method. Rejection of both types of iPS cells was characterized by T cell infiltration.
Global gene expression analysis of teratomas formed by B6 ESCs and EiPSCs demonstrated that several iPS genes were expressed that contributed to immunogenicity. According to the authors “these findings indicate that, in contrast to derivatives of ESCs, abnormal gene expression in some cells differentiated from iPSCs can induce T-cell-dependent immune response in syngeneic recipients.”

2011-05-13T19:31:38+00:00May 13th, 2011|News, Stem Cell Research|

World’s First Chemical Guided Missile Could Be the Answer to Wiping out Cancer

A research team at Deakin University has made a discovery that could have huge implications on the treatment and survival rates of cancer victims. The researchers, along with scientists in India and Australia have created the world’s first RNA aptamer, a chemical antibody that targets cancer stem cell marker epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM). This marker is overexpressed in cancer cells, thus allowing the RNA aptamer to bind directly to the cell before being internalized. The implications of this are that the aptamer has the potential ability to deliver drugs directly to the cancer stem cells and can also be used to develop a more effective cancer imaging system for early detection of the disease.

“Despite technological and medical advances, the survival rates for many cancers remain poor, due partly to the inability to detect cancer early and then provide targeted treatment,” said Professor Wei Duan, the Director of the Deakin Medical School’s Nanomedicine Program. “Current cancer treatments destroy the cells that form the bulk of the tumour, but are largely ineffective against the root of the cancer, the cancer stem cells. This suggests that in order to provide a cure for cancer we must accurately detect and eliminate the cancer stem cells.”

The aptamer is the first part of the ‘medical smart bomb’ the researchers have been developing. “What we have created is the ‘guided missile’ part of the ‘smart bomb’,” Professor Duan explained. “The aptamer acts like a guided missile, targeting the tumour and binding to the root of the cancer. “The aim now is to combine the aptamer with the ‘bomb’ (a microscopic fat particle) that can carry anti-cancer drugs or diagnostic imaging agents directly to the cancer stem cells, creating the ultimate medical smart bomb.”

“The cancer stem cell-targeting missile and the smart bomb could revolutionise the way cancer is diagnosed,” he explained. “The minute size of the aptamer means it could locate cancer cells in their very early stages. Attaching radioactive compounds to the aptamer could lead to the development of sensitive diagnostic scans for earlier detection, more accurate pinpointing of the location of cancer, better prediction of the chance of cure and improved monitoring of the response to treatment. More accurate identification of the type of cancer present would lead to more personalised treatment that is more successful and cost-effective. This could ultimately lead to better cancer survival rates and greatly improved quality of life for patients.”

2011-02-17T20:24:44+00:00February 17th, 2011|News, Stem Cell Research|

Pluripotent stem cell-derived natural killer cells for cancer therapy.

Knorr et al. Transl Res. 2010 Sep;156(3):147-154. Epub

Immune therapy of cancer is an exciting prospect given the possibility of treating cancer without the side effects associated with conventional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Additionally, the use of the immune system to target tumors offers the possibility of eradicating micrometastasis, which often cannot be treated by conventional means.

Early work in the immunotherapy of cancer involved taking out patient lymphocytes that were infiltrating the tumor, expanding them outside of the body, and subsequently re-injecting them with the hope that expanded numbers of tumor-specific killer cells would destroy the tumor. Unfortunately this approach was very expensive and did not yield positive results to justify the complexity and expense of the procedure. One possible reason for the failure of this approach is that the cells used where already “old” and “exhausted”. In other words, previous encounters of the T cells with cancer antigens seems to have programmed them so as to inhibit ability to mount a proper immune response.

The use of natural killer cells as an alternative to T cells was considered. These cells, called lymphokine activated killers (LAK) displayed specific ability to kill tumors and were more effective than T cells alone. Unfortunately this approach too also required substantial manipulation of the cells outside of the body and was not practical.

In a recent paper, the group of Knorr et al discussed how to use stem cells to solve the problem of generating anti-cancer immune cells out of the body. They discuss how they have successfully used embryonic stem cells to generate “universal donor” natural killer cells. This approach is highly promising since NK cells do not need to be matched with the recipient in order to mediate anti-cancer activity. Additionally, since the cells are generated “brand new” in the laboratory, the problem of “exhaustion” is no longer relevant. Unfortunately there are still several obstacles to overcome such as the potential of embryonic stem cells forming leukemias/tumors, and the possibility of host anti-graft responses.

The paper also describes the future possibility of using inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as a method of generating autologous T cells with any given TCR specificity.

2010-08-01T16:46:36+00:00August 1st, 2010|Cancer, News, Stem Cell Research|

Eradication of brain tumor stem cells with an oncolytic adenovirus.

Jiang et al. Discov Med. 2010 Jul;10(50):24-8.

Philosophically, tumor cells have an advantage to humans in the “War on Cancer”. That is, the tumors have the ability to rapidly mutate, so that when drugs are given to fight the tumor, the tumor can “mutate around” the drug and become resistant. This occurs in several ways: a) the tumor starts expressing drug efflux pumps, such as the multi-drug resistance (MDR) protein that actively transports chemotherapeutics out of cancer cells; b) the tumor mutates the kinase or molecular target that the drug is inhibiting; and c) the tumor increases expression of other oncogenes that are not inhibited by the drug.

One interesting method of dealing with the problem of tumor mutation is to use agents against the tumor that are actively mutating. One approach has been the use of viruses that have a selective ability to infect tumors and to kill them. These are called “oncolytic” viruses. One of the most well-known oncolytic virus is the Reovirus, which only replicates in cells that express high concentrations of the oncogene RAS. This virus is in clinical trials by the Canadian company Oncolytics.

Delta-24-RGD is an oncolytic adenovirus that is capable of infecting glioma cells and preferentially inducing their death. It is being developed at the Brain Tumor Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and is the subject of an ongoing Phase I clinical trial in the treatment of patients with therapy-resistant glioma.

One of the key issues surrounding any cancer therapeutic is whether the treatment is targeting tumor stem cells, or only the tumor progeny cells. This is very important because tumor stem cells are usually resistant to chemotherapy or other interventions that require cells to be metabolically-active and hyperproliferating. The majority of tumor cells are metabolically-active and fast multiplying, these cells are usually destroyed by conventional drug approaches, however, subsequent to their destruction the tumor stem cells exit quiescence and start making a new tumor. This has been one of the primary reasons for the poor success rate of cancer therapeutics that are currently under development.

In the current paper scientists found that the Delta-24-RGD virus is capable of infecting and causing death of glioma stem cells. This is a very important finding because it implies the possibility of attaining tumor cure by administration of such an oncolytic virus. Other advantages of the oncolytic virus approach is that the process of tumor cell death likely releases numerous antigens which cause activation of systemic immunity towards micrometastasis. Unfortunately one of the drawbacks of cancer therapy using oncolytic viruses is that the host develops an immune response to the virus which does not allow for long term continual administration. Patients interested in this treatment should contact Dr. Jiang at hjiang@mdanderson.org .

2010-07-02T16:52:04+00:00July 2nd, 2010|News, Stem Cell Research|

Identification of Peptides Which Show Potential To Generate Cancer Stem Cell Specific Immune Responses

The use of the immune system to target cancer has been a therapeutic goal for over a century. The advantage of immunotherapy is the possibility of targeting cancer throughout the body in a non-toxic manner, thus allowing destruction of metastasis, and induction of immunological memory to protect from relapse. Unfortunately with exception of the recent FDA approval of Dendreon’s prostate cancer vaccine on April 29th, 2010 all other cancer vaccine Phase III clinical trials have failed. The company ImmunoCellular Therapeutics believes that one of the reasons for poor efficacy of previous trials revolves around the fact that they were targeting the wrong
type of tumor cell.

It is known that tumors are comprised of rapidly multiplying cells and "sleeping" cells. The cells that are dormant appear to act as stem cells in that they are capable of starting a brand new tumor when transplanted to mice. To date, cancer vaccines have been designed to kill rapidly multiplying tumor cells but not the dormant stem cells. ImmunoCellular Therapeutics has been collaborating with the Torrey Pines Institute to identify molecules found on tumor stem cells that can be used to generate vaccines. Today the company announced some progress in its quest.

The company claims to have identified several peptides which can generate T-cells capable of killing cells that express the protein CD133. This protein according to the press release, is found in high abundance on cancer stem cells. What is interesting is that this protein is also found on healthy, non-cancerous, stem cells such as circulating endothelial progenitor cells. Therefore it will be interesting to see if the vaccines that are being developed will have adverse effects. Theoretically the cancer stem cells should be more difficult to target with a vaccine as compared to non-malignant stem cells due to the fact that cancer stem cells generally secrete immune suppressive factors that protect them from the body’s attack.

Torrey Pines Institute and Immunocellular Therapeutics have expanded their existing research agreement to conduct additional studies to support an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) filing. This is an application to the FDA to ask for permission to perform clinical trials in humans.

Additionally, the press release stated that ImmunoCellular Therapeutics and the Torrey Pines Institute will work on research programs with other proteins found on cancer stem cells such as Numb and Notch.

Dr. Manish Singh, President and Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics stated "We are excited by the discoveries to date that could prove
efficacious in treating cancer," he continued, "We look forward to expanding our relationship with the Torrey Pines Institute."

2010-05-17T17:13:31+00:00May 17th, 2010|News, Stem Cell Research|