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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:31 am 
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For the First Time, a Glioma - Brain Cancer - may be Eliminated by a Chinese Research/Medical Team, Using a Novel Stem Cell Based Therapy of Cellonis Biotech, Beijing

BEIJING, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - Using a novel stem cell based technology of Cellonis Biotechnologies, Beijing, a Chinese research/medical team may eliminate a glioma -- brain cancer -- of a 36 year old Norwegian patient in a hospital in Beijing. The treatment shows that the activated immune system can directly kill tumor stem cells as well as cancer daughter cells. The amazing outcome of this novel treatment within a Comprehensive Cancer Therapy tells Cellonis that the future vaccination therapies may be targeted towards cancer stem cell lysates to improve the antigen-presenting Dendritic Cell response.

Arve Johnsen, 36, from Norway, a patient diagnosed with glioma in 2006 and relapsed in 2009 after surgical resection. He arrived in Beijing in August 2009 with his wife Vanja and a one-year-old daughter, with the hope that the doctors in Norway were wrong. They told the family there is no other option anymore in the Scandinavian countries or in Europe for Arve to control the progress of disease and prolong his life. Driven by the hope that their daughter could grow up with a father, the Johnsen family started a research campaign to find other treatments worldwide, to give Arve a new hope.

Comprehensive Cancer Therapy in China

The Johnsen's, having heard about the sustainable success of a Comprehensive Cancer Therapy (CCT) in China, decided to try for this last chance in a country 10,000 km away from Norway. This kind of CCT had been developed in the past few years by a Chinese team of scientific researchers and clinical doctors in Beijing, combining conventional cancer treatments with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and cell therapies.

The role of cancer stem cells in the tumors

Scientists previously believed that tumors are lumps of cancer tissue that must be completely removed or destroyed to cure a patient. But over the past few years, researchers have learned that cancer stem cells (CSCs), comprising a small population of cells, appear to be responsible for the initiation, upkeep and relapse of malignant tumors. Even if a tumor is almost completely obliterated, it will regenerate from the surviving CSCs and become even more resistant to treatment than before.

Current therapies, including cell therapy, generally do not target CSCs. This allows CSCs to survive until after chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Killing those cells is a promising strategy to eliminate tumors and prevent them from re-growing.

Prof. Lily Shum: Perfect integration of stem cells and immunotherapies

"The CSCs may explain why common treatments, particularly chemotherapy, are not sufficient to kill tumors. In fact, despite the continuous development of new chemotherapeutic agents, brain tumors can develop and remain resistant to those therapies. The integration of stem cells and immune technologies seems to give us a chance to find out a new way to target at CSCs," says Prof. Lily Shum, PhD, the chief scientist of Cellonis.

"The difficult issue in our project is how to capture and classify CSCs. With our patented technologies, we are able to isolate the CSCs from patient's brain tumor tissues, culture them and induce the multi-drug and radiation resistance. These cells possess very strong carcinogenicity, self-renewal, and also a very strong drug and radiation resistance."

Lily Shum adds, "The Dendritic Cell (DC) is a very useful tool to conduct a specific immune response against brain CSCs." As we know, DC is an antigen- presenting cell that stimulates the innate immune system, as a messenger, it transfers "the information of cancer cell - antigen" to "the killers of the immune system - the T cells," and then T cells can recognize and lyse cells bearing those antigens. "We educate the DC with the brain CSCs, and then conduct the specific immune response which targets the CSCs."

Dr. Dinggang Li: Comprehensive Cancer Therapies

"The outcome of the first pilot study with Johnsen is amazing. The PET-CT scan for Johnsen shows that all the tumor disappeared after the treatment," says Dr. Dinggang Li, M.D. PhD. He has developed and conducted CCT for more than 100 international cancer patients in the past few years. DCs loaded with different kinds of brain cancer related antigens that target cancer cells and the CIK cell treatment are the main elements of his comprehensive treatment for cancer. "In the first cycle of treatment, we treated him with comprehensive approaches including SHG-44 loading DC, CIK cell therapy and TCM, but we had not been able to control the progression of the disease, the tumors continued to grow. We gave him the DC therapy which targets brain CSCs in the 2nd cycle of treatment, and it showed a very promising response."

Dr. Cindy HAO: More clinical trials to confirm the outcome

Cindy HAO, M.D., CEO of Cellonis Biotechnologies is optimistic for the future of this new brain cancer approach. "It gives us a strong confidence to make more efforts toward this direction. This pilot treatment study shows us that the activated immune system can directly kill tumor stem cells as well as tumor daughter cells. But first of all we need to extend our further clinical trials to confirm the outcome. And it also tells us that the future vaccination therapies may be targeted toward Cancer Stem Cell Lysates to improve the antigen-presenting DC response."

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2009/17/c3790.html

[comment - please note this is one (younger patient) who may have a lower grade glioma, but interesting article nonetheless]


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:42 am 
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Anybody has comments on this novel treatment in Beijing? I am interested to know its efficacy for treatment of GBM for one of my loved ones. This seems too good to be true with the available but very limited options to treat GBM.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:26 am 
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Assuming your loved ones don't live in Beijing or even China, I personally wouldn't travel to experiment with a treatment that has only been piloted with a single patient. If this patient had a lower grade they had a 30% chance of surviving anyway. It has not even been one year yet, so I am unsure of the exact criterior for the 'success' of this treatment.

While I have a grade '2/3' that has spread to both hemispheres, I no longer feel powerless - I certainly did early on. The most recent thing that has helped has been advice from books, particularly "Anticancer" by David Servan-Schreiber. He states that 85% of cancers are not caused primarily by genes. That means that lifestyle has a bigger impact than previously thought.

One of the things that struck me about "Anticancer" is that it gives a modern history of cancer and how rates are soaring. Hereditary factors do not move that quickly. There is now quite a lot of information on this site regarding lifestyle factors and I suggest that you read them. Acute medical intervention can only do so much the rest is up to us.

Prevention applies to recurrence as well as the initial diagnosis of cancer. I had to admit that I was doing things wrong, difficult for me as I saw myself as fit and healthy, and re-examine my 'healthy' lifestyle.

Make no mistake there are no quick fixes or cures at present. What cancer patients can do is improve the quality of our lives and believe that this will have an influence on the quantity of life. A diagnosis of cancer is to come face to face with the reality of our personal mortality. Overcoming this fear is one of our biggest challenges.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:18 am 
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Kenobewan, thank you for your reply and sharing your views. We are from Singapore and to Beijing its about a 5 hour flight. I have found out that this Norwegian has a GBM that has recurred (found in a facebook group). His tumor has shrunk to almost nothing. Not sure if this is over exaggerated.

I personally did some research and enquiry about this novel treatment and true it is still in its clinical study stage. They have 8 patients to date and all have shown positive response. This therapy targets the root problem, being getting rid of cancer stem cells and daughter cells. Logically it sounds like a dream equation towards a "cure" but of course the data collected are still premature.

I would take this as a "last resort" if all else fails. And I definitely hope this can help many many GBM patients around the world if it plays a part to finding the cure.


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