Last time, I touched on immunotherapy, which aims to overcome cancer by activating the function of “immunity” that we are born with.
Research on cancer immunotherapy is being actively conducted in Europe and the United States, and among them, the combination treatment that incorporates immunotherapy is becoming the mainstream.
Before we talk about this combination therapy, let’s first talk about the new immunotherapy immune checkpoint inhibitors that are currently being talked about.
New immunotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitor
In September 2014, Ono Pharmaceutical launched an anti-PD-1 antibody drug, a type of immune checkpoint inhibitor. It is attracting a lot of attention in Japan as a new concept cancer treatment drug.
This treatment is not a drug that directly attacks cancer cells.
Cancer cells are very smart and push the brakes on the immune cells that are approaching to attack, weakening their attack power. Anti-PD-1 antibody drugs attach antibodies to a molecule called PD-1, which acts as a brake on immune cells, to prevent cancer cells from pressing the brakes.
Why are immune cells braked?
Immune cells work day and night to protect our bodies, but when they work excessively and attack their own cells, they cause autoimmune diseases.
To suppress this, immune cells are braked. Cancer cells are trying to survive by taking advantage of this mechanism.
In addition to anti-PD-1 antibody drugs, anti-CTLA-4 antibody drugs, anti-PD-L1 antibody drugs, etc. are being researched and developed one after another. However, even though it is immunotherapy, it is a drug and has side effects, so be careful.
In Europe and the United States, it has been reported that the combination with other treatments is more effective.
Even better results have been obtained by combining an immune checkpoint inhibitor with hybrid immunotherapy, which is a combination of patented multivalent dendritic cell vaccine and active NK cell therapy.
A turning point between immunotherapy and cancer treatment
Polyvalent dendritic cell vaccine and active NK cell therapy are treatments that activate large amounts of immune cells that attack cancer cells.
When cancer occurs, the immune cells in the body are in a small number or inactive state.
In such a state, even if you use an antibody-drug that does not press the brake of immune cells, it is difficult to fully bring out its power.
By activating a large number of immune cells, it is thought that immune checkpoint inhibitors become more active.
“Multivalent dendritic cell vaccine” that identifies and attacks cancer cell markers, “active NK cell therapy” that indiscriminately attacks when abnormal cells are found, and “prevents counterattack of cancer cells” Combination therapy combined with “immune checkpoint inhibitors” will be indispensable for future immunotherapy, no, cancer treatment.
In addition, combination treatments that combine standard treatments will be synergistic and more effective cancer treatments.