Fachschaftsinitiative Biomedizin

Prof. Dr. Aladár Szalay

Diagnosis and therapy of cancer with stem cell mediated delivery of oncolytic cancer vaccines

Institute: Rudolf Virchow Center of Experimental Biomedicine, University of Würzburg, Germany  & Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Diego

Our laboratories in Wuerzburg and San Diego/CA have pioneered a transformational stem cell-based immunotherapy platform designed to unleash a targeted and deadly attack on cancer, while sparing a patient’s healthy tissues and cells.  This technology leverages the stealth carrying and homing capacity of a patients’ own stem cells to evade the body’s immune surveillance to successfully deliver a potent, anti-cancer payload directly and specifically targeting and killing cancer cells, while triggering the patient’s immune system to recognize and fight against the cancer.

Early stage Phase 1 clinical trials demonstrated the safety and feasibility of harvesting autologous stem cells in a closed system, stem cells which were combined to deliver an anti-cancer vaccine against a variety of solid tumor types. Twenty six stage IV cancer patients we treated with one-time injection of stem cell cancer vaccine mixture, and two years later ten patients are still alive and well. The autologous stem cell mediated cancer vaccine (small pox vaccine) delivery is safe. It resulted in solid tumor regression and tumor therapy. Immune cell analysis of treated patients blood indicates tumor specific memory T-cell accumulation. Future applications include next generation stem cell-based product candidates targeted to multiple cancers, carrying a variety of cytotoxic payloads. Our research effort and leadership in the emerging field of stem cell-mediated immunotherapy will continue to yield future applications for our platform technology to benefit cancer patients.