Applied Immune Sciences Inc. said that researchers at UCLA'sJonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have begun clinicalstudies using its CELLector-TIL to treat metastatic kidneycancer.
The study, announced Wednesday, will help determine thesafety and feasibility of using the device-based system to killtumor cells. TIL cells, or tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, areanti-tumor cells produced by the immune system in responseto cancer.
Kidney cancer affects 24,000 Americans annually and oftenmetastasizes before it's diagnosed. Once this has occurred, themedian survival rate is less than a year.
The researchers will take removed tumors and grow them. TILcells, which will grow along with the tumors, will be isolatedfrom the tumor and given interleukin-2 to stimulate theirproliferation, said Fran Lambetecchio, company vice presidentof clinical and regulatory affairs.
The TIL cells will then be returned to the patients, who willalso be given IL-2 to continue stimulating the TIL cells. Somepatients will also receive alpha interferon. If any tumor cellsare left, the TIL cells should home in on them and kill them,Lambetecchio said.
Stimulating the TIL cells ex vivo should permit doctors to givepatients lower doses of IL-2, mitigating the drug's toxiceffects, said Lambetecchio.
Stock of the Menlo Park, Calif., company (NASDAQ:AISX) closedup $1.13 on Wednesday at $18.88. -- Karen Bernstein
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