American prostate cancer patient gets new lease of life through cancer treatment in India.
Crossing the Atlantic and three continents Chris reached India with a LAST ditch hope to get some relief of his super aggressive prostate cancer. Chris McCue, a 58 year old American citizen from Pennsylvania was suffering from prostate cancer detected in August, 2014 with a GLEASON score of 9. He was a refractory case with multiple chemo failures and on hormonal treatment and yet with a rising PSA >200ng/ml. He is also an old case of metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) from 1996. Treating Oncologist Dr. Carl Barsigian Dunmore, Pennsylvania in US, who treated Chris said, “We had put him on an anti-androgen blockade with chemotherapy but everything failed. Even Zytiga and Xtandi which are newer drugs to fight prostate cancer only helped for less than three months each before his PSA starting to climb again. Chris had about 30 tumours at diagnosis with tumours all over in his lymph nodes up to his neck. The tumours were residual and recurrent with a very poor survival rate. And there was almost no sign of improvement”. When he arrived in India he could only walk a block before stopping as he had around 10 metastatic lymph nodes pushing on his heart making it hard to breathe.
On the recommendation of his treating urologist, Dr. James Stefanelli of Scranton, Pennsylvania and immunologist Dr. Gary Wood who was VERY specific to find a true autologous(self) Dendritic Cell immunotherapy, he opted for the same. At the same time he found that lot of research is being done on cell therapies and then he discussed the insights of immunotherapy with Dr. William Decker at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. From his earlier experience with kidney cancer Chris knew that a true autologous dendritic cell vaccine has been shown over and over to be more effective than allogenic(non-self) vaccines which are easier and less expensive to produce. On the recommendation and consent of Dr. Decker, who is scientific advisor to APAC Biotech as well, it was finally decided to put him on autologous dendritic cell based product, APCEDEN®.
The cells are derived from the patients own white blood cells, thus making it specific to each patient and their cancer. The specific tumour antigen-primed Dendritic Cells, when infused back into the patient, can elicit a T cell response, allowing better tumour targeting and anti-cancer response. A set of six doses were prepared simultaneously that are infused every 2 weeks, making the treatment last for up to 3 months. Being specific autologous means using the patients own tumour cells in preparing the vaccine. This cancer treatment was approved by the government of India last year in March.