ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. (OTCBB: IMUC), a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is developing immune based therapies for the treatment of brain and other cancers, announced today that it has retained the services of the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in San Diego, CA, to evaluate the immunogenicity of peptides to target cancer stem cells (CSC’s) relating to the Company’s lead product candidate ICT-121. The evaluation will be conducted by Dr. Clemencia Pinilla, a specialist in immune response mechanisms and their role in the prevention and cause of human disease with over 100 publications and multiple patents to her credit.
ICT-121 is IMUC’s cancer stem cell (CSC) vaccine product candidate that consists of a peptide to stimulate a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response to CD133, which is generally overexpressed on the CSCs.Relevant links: Profile of Clemencia Pinilla, of the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in San Diego, California; and, Opinion: A Stem of Hope for Cancer Treatments by Manish Singh (President and CEO of IMUC), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, June 12, 2009. [Previous blog post: Bright future for CSC therapies?, June 14, 2009].
Note that it is important that CSC-targeted vaccination "should not lead to immune reaction to normal cells that may express common antigens". For a recent publication from which this quotation is taken, see: Antigen-Specific T Cell Response from Dendritic Cell Vaccination Using Cancer Stem-like Cell-Associated Antigens by Qijin Xu and 8 co-authors, including John S Yu, Stem Cells 2009(Apr 23) [Epub ahead of print][PubMed Citation]. (John S Yu is Chief Scientific Officer and Chairman of the Board of IMUC, see: Our Team - IMUC).
For some background about immune based therapies for the treatment of cancer, see: Cancer Vaccines by Preeti Gokal Kochar, ProQuest Discovery Guide, January 2006.
See also: Connotea bookmarks matching tag CD133.