Understanding Your Treatment Options
This is one of the most promising new approaches to cancer
prevention and treatment and offers great hope to cancer sufferers.
Biotherapy is a therapy for anti-cancer, prevention of disease and
What is cancer biotherapy? What are its advantages?
It is a treatment which uses the body’s own immune system to fight
cancer. This therapy stabilizes and balances the body’s anti-cancer
response by regulating certain aspects of the natural anti-cancer
mechanism of the body resulting in greater cancer prevention and
This therapy has none of the toxic side-effects which result from the
use of conventional treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy
and does not inhibit hemopoiesis – the formation of blood cells in
the body. Instead it enhances the body’s immune response.
The aim of the treatment is to increase the quantity of T cells which
is a major factor in the body’s defense against cancer and also to
strengthen the killing function of the T cells. In other words, it is
reinforcing the anti-cancer army of the body and equipping it with
more combative power.
Main Methods used in Biotherapy:
- Anti-cancer cell therapy – adoptive immune therapy such as
LAK (lymphokine-activated killer cell) and CIK cell therapy.
- Anti-cancer cytotoxic therapy – cytokine therapy such as IL-2,
- Anti-cancer gene therapy – gene vaccine therapy, CEA gene
vaccine, P53 gene etc.
- Anti-cancer antibody therapy – bio-missile therapy such as
heceptin, Glivec, etc.
To elaborate a little on the above methods:
Anti-cancer cell therapy
There is a natural immune mechanism in the human body which is
capable of containing and killing malignant cancer cells. However in
cancer patients this natural immune function for some reason
seems to be impaired or insufficient. In this therapy various cell
factors, vaccines and genes are administered with the aim of
enhancing the killing effect of the immune cells on the cancer. This
therapy forms the basis of other biotherapy methods.
There are many kinds of cells in the human body which have an anti-
cancer effect. Amongst these the most important one is the T
lymphocyte or T cell. The T lymphocyte is one type of white blood
cell that attacks virus-infected cells, foreign cells, and cancer cells. T
lymphocytes also produce a number of substances that regulate the
immune response. T cells are fostered in the thymus gland.
Research has shown that T lymphocytes are anti-cancer, anti-
disease and anti-aging. The seriousness of AIDS is due to the fact
that the AIDS virus destroys T lymphocytes.
LAK cell, CIK and DC cell
LAK stands for lymphokine activated killer. LAK cell is an IL-2
(interleukin-2) activated killer cell . IL-2 is a type of interleukin, a
chemical messenger, a substance that can improve the body’s
response to disease. It stimulates the growth of certain disease-
fighting blood cells in the immune system and is also called cytotoxic
T lymphocyte. The characteristics of LAK cells are:
- A stronger anti-cancer effect than the normal T lymphocyte in
- Has a broad spectrum anti-cancer effect – affects all kinds of
- Does not damage the normal cell
- Has no toxic side effects
The CIK cell is prepared using the LAK cell as a base. In addition to
IL-2, three additional factors are added – CD3McAb, IL-1 and IFN-r.
The advantages of this combination are:
- The proliferation rate is 100 times that of LAK cells
- The cancer killing effect is 10 times compared to that of LAK
- It affects a broader spectrum of cancer cells and has a
stronger killing effect on poly-drug-resistant cancer cells
- It cannot be influenced by the immune inhibition mechanism.
The CIK cells demonstrate remarkable anti-virus abilities as well. A
recent study done by Professor Zhao which was published in the
National Medical Journal of China in 2006, (86(26):1823) showed
that when hepatocelular carcinoma was treated with CIK cells, the
CIK cells were capable of reducing or even eliminating the HBV in
the patient’s body. This has the effect of prolonging the remission
period of cancer.
DC cell is dendritic cells which can enhance the immune function by
presenting the cancer antigen to the cytotoxic T cells. After the CIK
cell has been induced with the DC loaded with CEA-rV, the killing
effect on CEA positive tumor cell is higher by a factor of 80%.
Results of our clinical research shows that:
|Total no. of T cells
|Killing effect (%)
|China's Advanced Therapies
Hospital for Cancer
millimeter (range of 800-2000) in peripheral blood and the killing
effect is 84% ( range of 80-=88%). In other words the anti-cancer
therapy has the effect of reinforcing and strengthening the power
of the natural anti-cancer defense of the body.
What is the clinical effect of cancer biotherapy?
1) Biotherapy can increase the 5 years and 9 years survival rate
for pulmonary cancer.
The treatment results of 174 postoperative primary pulmonary
cancer patients from the Medical College of Japanese Chiba
|With only chemotherapy and
|2) Biotherapy can prevent the reoccurrence of liver cancer after
Shanghai Liver Cancer Research Institute adopted the use of
biotherapy for the prevention of postoperative recurrence of liver
cancer in 41 patients. The results were:
The one year recurence rate in the routine therapy group was 17.1
% whereas the one year recurence rate in the biotherapy group
was only 2.4 %, a very obvious difference.
(Chinese Journal of Cancer Biotherapy 1997.4(3):240)
3) Biotherapy can prolong the survival term of patients with
Wuhan Tongji Hospital adopted the use of biotherapy for the
prevention of postoperative recurrence of brain glioma. The results
The biotherapy group (19 cases) Median survival time 38
The routine therapy group (20 cases) Median survival time 13
(The Chinese-German Journal of Clinical
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