TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A new autoimmune treatment for brain tumors has been developed by the Taichung-based China Medical University Hospital (CMUH), with a superior survival rate of 85.8 percent, hospital sources said yesterday.
CMUH Neurosurgery Department Director Cho Der-yang explained that the new therapy employs dendritic cells extracted from a patient's blood to fight malignant gliomas cells in the brain -- both to minimize side effects and increase the chances of survival.
Cho further explained that the dendritic cells extracted are first cultivated in vitro along with malignant gliomas cells, a process that induces dendritic cells to better understand their enemy and trigger the immune mechanism against this type of tumor cell.
The "educated" dendritic cells are then injected back into the patient to stimulate his human T-lymphocytes, which will then turn on the remaining brain tumor cells or malignant gliomas cells.
"A single course of treatment takes six months and 10 injections of cultivated dendritic cells," Cho added.
In previous clinical experiments, among the 21 volunteers with malignant gliomas, 18 survived the observation period of up to 32 months and only three died during the course, representing a three-year survival rate of 85.8 percent.