IPF for Cancer Treatment

Immunotherapy has the potential to provide an alternative and/or complementary treatment for most types of cancer. The advantage of immunotherapy over radiation and chemotherapy is that it can act specifically against the tumor without causing normal tissue damage. Current data indicates that immune protection against all cancer requires the generation of a potent cellular immune response against a unique tumor antigen expressed by the malignant cell. As a consequence successful immune protection first requires a unique antigen expressed in the tumor cells (tumor specific antigen) and second, an induction of a potent T-cell immune response, targeted to the tumor antigen.

Unfortunately the immune system by itself can´t recognize specific tumor antigens and reject them; however recent advances have revealed that certain proteins binding with specific tumor antigens can be recognized by the immune system, this is what IPF does.

IPF proteins attach to tumor antigens, creating superantigens (Sags), which increases the number of antibodies against the malignant cells and induces a potent T-cell immune response targeted to the tumor antigen. For a stronger immune response, IPF may be paired with different kinds of adjuvants such as IL-2, IL-6, IL-12 or other cytokines. Another form of immunotherapy can also provide active immunization, which allows for amplification of the immune response. In addition, vaccines can generate a memory immune response. Recent advances have revealed that any cellular protein (expressed in virally infected cells or cancer cells) can be recognized by the immune system if those proteins are presented to the immune system in a form that results in an activation rather than ignorance or tolerance to the antigen. In addition, T-cells rather than B-cells are usually responsible for this recognition.

It is important to point out that when we discuss vaccines for cancer we are referring to treatment rather than prevention, because the antigens expressed by tumor cells (which are the immunogens recognized by the immune system) are not yet known. Attaching known proteins will increase the number of antibodies to fight against them.

This mechanism of action will give us an exact answer (known antigens we have to make known for immune system). In contrast we can use vaccines to prevent infectious diseases because the antigens expressed the causative agent – fraction and/or its proteins that can attach, serve as the immunogen are already known.

You can read more about Cancer Immunotherapy here: Cancer Immunotherapy Fundamentals