Findings of a study presented by two physicians at two majorscientific conferences revealed three remissions from a groupof nine patients with renal cell carcinoma, a form of cancer thatis considered untreatable and normally fatal, Applied ImmuneSciences Inc. (AIS) said.
Robert Figlin, associate professor of medicine and director ofthe clinical research unit at the Jonsson Comprehensive CancerCenter (JCCC) at UCLA, presented the findings at the annualmeeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando,Fla. Arie Belldegrun, associate professor of surgery and directorof the immunotherapy program at JCCC, simultaneouslypresented the data to the annual meeting of the AmericanUrological Association in San Antonio, Texas.
The treatment used in the study involves the use of tumorinfiltrating lymphocytes specifically targeted to fight thepatients' cancer cells, AIS said. In the treatment, tumors aresurgically removed from the patient's kidney and the tumormass is enzymatically digested into a collection of individualcells. Then, through the AIS CELLector device, tumor-specificCD8+TIL cells, designed to kill cancer cells, are separated out,multiplied in a laboratory and reinfused into the patient tofight the renal cell carcinoma, AIS said.
Sustained, complete remissions (10 to 12 months) occurred intwo of the nine patients reinfused with cells, and partialremission (more than seven months) in one patient.
"The essence of our findings is that by selecting these tumor-killing cells out and multiplying them outside the body, theycan be reinfused and more successfully battle the remainingcancerous tumor tissue left after surgery," said Figlin.
AIS of Santa Clara, Calif., is funding the study, being performedthrough the Kidney Cancer Program at the UCLA School ofMedicine. AIS said it intends to continue enrolling patients inCD8+TIL trials and study the biology of CD8+TIL cells isolatedfrom peripheral blood, regional lymphocytes and metastaticdeposits.
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