Quironsalud Torrevieja Hospital launches special cancer vaccine
Quirónsalud Torrevieja Hospital has opened a laboratory developed in accordance with the international GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) quality standards and aimed at the production of such advanced drugs as dendritic cell vaccines and has begun production of specific immunotherapeutic drugs for the treatment of cancer patients.
The team of medical specialists of the oncology platform of the Quirónsalud Torrevieja Hospital, led by Dr. Antonio Brugarolas, began the cultivation of dendritic cells derived from the blood of patients with severe forms of cancer, such as prostate cancer with metastases, which convincingly proves the possibility of achieving specific immune response against neoplasm. "In addition to activities aimed at combating this type of cancer, the White Hall plans to develop and produce vaccines for the treatment of patients with melanoma and breast cancer."
Project directors explain that “it’s medically proven that these cancer vaccines are a safe treatment, are well tolerated and do not cause an autoimmune reaction.”
According to experts, “immunotherapy is a cancer treatment method that uses the immunological system to fight cancer.” Its goal is to obtain a positive therapeutic effect by mobilizing the immune system. Dendritic cells are the strongest of all known antigen-presenting cells, superior to macrophages or B-lymphocytes. These cells have the ability to present specific tumor peptides to T cytotoxic lymphocytes, causing m way their activation and proliferation to recognize and kill tumor cells which express said peptide. In addition to its primary task consists in the activation of T-lymphocytes, these cells interact with other types of tumor cells in the area and contribute to enhance the antitumor response in vivo.
The production of dendritic cell vaccines for the treatment of prostate cancer is a multi-step process. From the patient’s blood, cells with one nucleus (mononuclear cells) are selected - lymphocytes and monocytes. Then dendritic cells are cultured by incubation of mononuclear cells with the participation of various stimulant molecules. In the final phases of the process, dendritic cells with prostatic acid phosphatase are incubated in order to obtain specific dendritic cells of this protein, which will subsequently be introduced to the same patient.
This vaccine will induce in vivo activation and proliferation of T-lymphocytes, specific antitumor effectors that can recognize and destroy cancer cells in which prostatic acid phosphatase is expressed.
The laboratory is a hall equipped with special equipment to maintain minimal or zero levels of environmental pollution, where the so-called "advanced medicine preparations" are produced. Inside, strict monitoring of the levels of environmental indicators is constantly carried out: microparticles contained in air, temperature, air flow, atmospheric pressure, lighting level, etc. Operators working in the hall should use sterile suits, including a hat, mask, jumpsuit, gloves and shoe covers, in order to avoid contamination of the hall.
The laboratory has various safety systems to prevent contamination of cells that are the object of work, various microorganisms and particles. Security systems include the following settings:
- The air entering the laboratory is sterile because it is filtered to destroy suspended particles and microorganisms. A complete air renewal occurs several times per hour in order to avoid dust accumulation. Air circulation is ensured by high-efficiency filters designed to hold microparticles.
- In the production area and in the locker rooms located in front of the access area, certain pressure levels are maintained that decrease in relation to the external rooms, so when opening the doors, the air always leaves the room and cannot enter the room from the outside. The corridor connecting the various zones is equipped with a system of locks designed to maintain the difference in pressure between the rooms and in relation to the external pressure.
- The walls of the room are covered with phenolic rubber, the corners are rounded in order to avoid the accumulation of polluting particles. In addition, there are no external water supply units and drainage devices inside the laboratory, since they are foci of microbial contamination.
- The entry and exit of materials and reagents is carried out using a gateway system different from that used for personnel passage; this prevents possible cross-contamination of products manufactured in the hall.
Another area of application of cell therapy, which will be developed in the laboratory, in addition to oncology, is cell therapy using mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). MSC are maternal cells that can become the basis for any other cells of the body, they are cultured from the spinal cord or adipose tissue and have the ability to differentiate into other cells of mesodermal origin (cells of cartilage, muscle tissue, skeleton, etc.). They can be used to treat cardiovascular diseases or liver diseases, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, as well as restoration of articular cartilage, among other areas of application.
In addition, other areas of application include anti-angiogenic therapy intended for the treatment of severe forms of ischemia, such as Buerger’s disease, regenerative therapy with autologous limbal stem cells, aimed at treating limbal insufficiency, and regenerative therapy with autologous dermal fibroblasts. for skin restoration (for burns), as well as regenerative therapy with skeletal myoblasts, which is used to treat patients with cardiovascular E illnesses as acute, such as myocardial infarction and chronic, such as coronary heart disease.
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