An Associate professor in Avicenna Research Center has examined ways for enhancing the effects of anti-cancer drugs based on dendritic cells.
Dr. Amir Hassan Zarnani, Associate Professor in Avicenna Research Center for Modern Biological Technologies of the Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research, said that currently cancer is mainly treated by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, and added that “in recent years other methods such as immunotherapy, the use of the body’s immune system, for treating cancer have been introduced.”
“Our research has been based on the use of dendritic cells as a cell therapy for cancer. These cells take in the antigens, including cancer, that enter the body and after processing them, they deliver the antigen particles to the immune system through the receptors on their surface. In this therapeutic method, the dendritic cells are either received from the patient or produced in-vitro. Then the cancer antigens are loaded on them so that the cell may deliver the antigens in a way that they are identifiable by the immune cells,” he explained.
Zarnani provided comments that the research is carried out on the enhancement of the dendritic cells’ power for multiple efficacy of immune reaction in them and said “Accordingly we adopted a new approach where a tumor independent antigen was made to enter the dendritic cells along with the cancer antgen.”
“This contributed to 10-fold increase in their anti-cancer responses,” he asserted.
“Also according to the research findings, another paper was published in Drug Discovery Today where new concepts were introduced as combined treatments,” he said.
“Based on the hypothesis, as cancer cells are highly smart they can escape various tools introduced by the body immune system, therefore the use of one treatment for cancer will not yield much success,” he explained.
“So using one treatment does not suffice for cancer and combined treatments must be used. From a cell therapy point of view, with dendritic cells, this means the enhancement of the cells’ power using methods such as the simultaneous loading of two antigens, treatment using dendritic cells along with the elimination of immune system suppression mechanisms or the enhancement of the functionality of immune system mediators,” he added.