Cedars-Sinai's first dendritic cell vaccine began Phase I experimental treatments in May 1998. With the ability of the latest version, ICT-107, to stimulate a targeted and controlled immune response established in this Phase I study, the vaccine moved into a Phase II multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 2011. Enrollment in the Phase II trial is expected to be completed in September 2012.
Dendritic cells are the immune system's most powerful antigen-presenting cells those responsible for helping the immune system recognize invaders. They are derived from white blood cells taken from the patient in a routine blood draw. In the laboratory, the cells are cultured with synthetic peptides of the six antigens essentially training the dendritic cells to recognize the tumor antigens as targets.
When the "new" dendritic cells in the vaccine are injected under the patient's skin in the armpit, they are intended to seek and destroy lingering tumor cells. Vaccine is administered three times at two-week intervals after standard radiation and chemotherapy.
ICT-107 is a product of the biotechnology company ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. Keith L. Black, MD, chair of Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery, director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, director of the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center and the Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience, is chairman of the company's scientific advisory board. John S. Yu, MD, vice chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, director of the Brain Tumor Center, director of Surgical Neuro-Oncology and surgical director of the Gamma Knife Center at Cedars-Sinai, is chief scientific officer and chairman of the board. Yu and another author are salaried employees of the company and own stock in it; Black and another a
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center