Getting to the Roots of Cancer
The discovery of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in the late 1990s began a revolution in the cancer treatment paradigm. This revolution prompted groundbreaking research that gave rise to a new generation of cancer therapeutics designed to target what is widely believed to be the root cause of cancer.
The "evil cousin" of regular stem cells, CSCs are believed to generate tumors much in the same way that their relatives generate healthy tissue. Though CSCs appear to constitute a small portion of the overall tumor mass, their resistance to radiation and chemotherapy and ability to migrate from the original tumor site increase the chance of tumor recurrence. New treatments that effectively target and destroy these CSCs are therefore critical to ensuring long-term, cancer-free survival.
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics is focused on developing products that harness the native immune system to attack CSCs without harming healthy tissue.
ICT-107, ICT-121, and ICT-140 are autologous, or personalized, dendritic cell-based vaccines that work by activating a patient’s immune system against specific tumor-associated antigens. This is accomplished by extracting dendritic cells from a patient, loading them with the antigens, and reintroducing them to the patient’s body to trigger an immune response.