Investigational Treatment – DCVAC/PCa
The investigational treatment DCVAC/PCa is made from the cells of the patient’s immune system. For its manufacturing a type of white blood cells called monocytes are used.
Monocytes are a normal component of human blood. During a standard immune response, monocytes mature into different cell type – dendritic cells. Dendritic cells then work together with other immune system cells in the body so that they are able to activate an immune response to foreign substances.
In the manufacturing of DCVAC/PCa monocytes are harvested from the patient’s blood in a process called leukapheresis (see the section entitled Leukapheresis). Prepared dendritic cells are then exposed to prostate cancer cells killed by a special method. The patient’s own dendritic cells engulf killed tumor cells and expose tumor cell parts on their surface. When other immune system cells are encountered, an immune response to the tumor cells is initiated.
The purpose of the VIABLE clinical study is, among other things, a way of verifying whether the investigational treatment DCVAC/PCa following its re-injection into the patient’s body, is capable of initiating an immune response to tumor cells and effectively reinforce that response when repeatedly applied.