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Thursday29 June 2017

The Star : A newer approach to cancer treatment

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HOSPITAL Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) is currently carrying out a small trial utilising a form of immunotherapy called Human Initiated Therapeutic Vaccine (HITV).

In the trial, HITV is used in combination with modulated radiotherapy to treat advanced stage (metastatic) cancers.

HITV is pioneered by Hasumi International Research Foundation’s Dr Kenichiro Hasumi.

It involves the use of dendritic cells to stimulate an immune system response to cancer.

The dendritic cells are harvested from the patient and cultured in a laboratory.

They are then reintroduced back into the patient, along with activated T cells.

Dendritic cells are part of the immune system, and are basically cells that detect foreign or harmful substances.

Upon detection of such potentially harmful cells, other components in the immune system are activated to initiate an appropriate response.

Although there are over 100 types of cancer, they all start with uncontrolled and abnormal cell growth.

Unfortunately, cancer treatment has been slow to develop over the years, especially if compared with other diseases.

But there have been promising developments in recent years.

Different types of therapy

Surgery was the first form of cancer treatment.

In its earliest incarnation, it was a crude and primitive way of dealing with cancer, saddled with many problems and complications.

However, advances in the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw major improvements in treatment outcomes.

Today, surgery continues to be a mainstay of cancer treatment, especially in early-stage cancers.
Chemotherapy refers to the cocktail of drugs used to treat cancer.

Basically, it targets rapidly dividing cells, i.e. cancer cells, interfering with cell division, and ultimately, leading to cell death.

However, this also means that normal cells that rapidly divide, e.g. bone marrow cells, immune cells and hair follicle cells, are also affected. Hence, the often unpleasant side-effects of chemotherapy like nausea, hair loss and vomiting, among others.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2014/11/09/a-newer-approach-to-cancer-treatment/#8jl2BrsmASxPLdLx.99

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HITV Lab

HITV Lab is involved in cell-based biotechnology medical applications with special focus on Dendritic Cell-Based Immunotherapy for cancer. HITV Lab is committed to support an international collaboration in the FDA clinical trial of HITV Therapy in late-stage cancer patients led by the University of Maryland, USA.

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