Adjuvant therapy is a treatment that is generally done post-immunotherapy, in order to maintain and enhance the body’s immune system after treatment with immunotherapy, such as the multivalent dendritic cell vaccine. Occasionally this may also be done prior to cellular immunotherapy to introduce the body to targeted tumor antigens.
Adjuvant therapy is developed using major artificial cancer antigens including WT-1 (See Note 1) and MUC1, as well as other targeted antigens. These antigens are expressed on cancer cells and cancer stem cells, and the adjuvant is created along with immune cell growth factors. This combination attracts immune cells to the adjuvant, including monocytes – cells that turn into immature dendritic cells, and dendritic cells, which as they mature take up these cancer antigens and continue their attack on cancer cells.
Because the adjuvant therapy is designed to stay at the injection site for a long time and gradually release the antigen, there is no difficulty or burden on the body and there are few side effects. By slowly releasing the antigen, this therapy can support the body’s ability to prime the immune system for a long time and maintain the power to attack cancer cells.
(Note 1): The WT1 that is used in our adjuvant therapy is not a “WT1 peptide fragment” consisting of nine amino acids, but it is the complete protein, that covers the entire sequence of the human WT1 protein.
Adjuvant therapy is administered by intradermal injection near the lymph nodes associated with the affected cancerous area. One course (kur) is considered to be one injection per month, for 3 months (a total of 3 doses).
In rare instances, redness or blistering may appear at the injection site. These symptoms are due to the body’s immune reaction and will gradually subside. Do not rub or massage the injection site.
Targeted medical conditions and symptoms
- Cancer (any type of cancer, any stage of cancer)
- Cancer prevention, recurrence or metastasis prevention