Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Human Initiated Therapeutic Vaccine (HITV) Therapy now available in Malaysia

Indeed i'm very pleased to hear that Malaysia has embarked on providing this therapy founded by Dr.Kenichiro Hasumi. I Pray that more victims will be successfully saved, let's bring the mortality rate down & eventually a complete cure, Amen!

KUALA LUMPUR: There is still hope for late-stage cancer patients as treatment that could help cure the disease is now available in the country.

The Human Initiated Therapeutic Vaccine (HITV) Therapy, previously available only in Japan, has been brought to Malaysia through the Mahameru International Medical Centre.Dr Kenichiro Hasumi, founder and president of the Hasumi International Research Foundation, said HITV is an autologous (patient-derived) active cell-based immunotherapy.

He said a HITV study on 26 patients with different advanced cancers showed 80 per cent of the patients demonstrated a complete response to the initial treatment, while 50 per cent have remained disease-free.

The types of cancers are breast, cervical, gastro-intestinal, lung, lymphoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and renal.Dr Hasumi said half of the eight Malaysian patients who had undergone HITV treatment in Japan had shown complete response.

The foundation has been involved in cancer research for more than 20 years, and Hasumi's research led to the discovery of HITV in 2005.The treatment cost RM200,000 in Japan and takes about three weeks, but now through a local partner, the cost may come down to RM150,000.Dr Hasumi added that HITV was highly effective for patients suffering from late-stage, or metastatic, cancer when used in combination with radiotherapy.

The treatment works for patients who have less than five metastatic cancer cells measuring less than three centimetres. The therapy is effective for all types of cancer, except leukaemia and brain tumour.The HITV therapy is a patient-derived, active cell-based immunotherapy. It involves harvesting the patient's dendritic cells for culturing in the laboratory, before introducing them back into the patient's body.


In 2005 Dr. Kenichiro Hasumi, a Japanese physician and researcher who has dedicated 40 years of his life to cancer immunotherapy research stumbled upon the right protocol, one that is scientifically sound. He found that dendritic cells when injected into tumours can locate the cancer cells for killer T-cells to neutralise. He has named the protocol Human Initiated Therapeutic Vaccine Therapy.

Immunology, which harnesses our immune system’s innate and adaptive ability to combat diseases, adds another dimension to the mainstays of cancer treatment, i.e. surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Human Initiated Therapeutic Vaccine (HITV) Therapy

HITV therapy is a new weapon to use in the long drawn battle with cancer. It is an autologous (patient derived) active cell-based immunotherapy for patients with metastatic or late-stage cancer that has been found to be highly effective when used in combination with radiotherapy. The treatment is able to annihilate microscopic and tiny nests of cancer cells thereby preventing any future cancer occurrence.

The efficacy of HITV Therapy is greater in the following patient’s conditions:

· Solid lumps – applicable for any type of solid cancers at any stage as long as they are accessible by needle. However HITV Therapy is not suitable for leukaemia and brain tumours.
· Tumours localised in treatable sites – as intra-tumoural injection of dendritic cells is the hallmark of HITV, it is important that the tumour is located in parts of the body that are accessible by needle.
· Tumour size of less than 3 cm in diameter – this limitation is due to the standard beam diameter of Tomotherapy which is 3 cm. Dendritic cell vaccine is also ineffective when injected into the necrotic (dead tissue) centre of large tumours.
· Less than five metastatic tumour lesions – again, the limitation is due to the adverse reactions to radiotherapy that may occur when multiple sites have to be treated in one sitting. However, Dr. Hasumi has experience in treating up to 15 lesions in one go.
· No pleural or peritoneal ascitic effusion – pleural and peritoneal ascitic effusion are typical signs of extensive cancer dissemination and the chances of success in such cases is greatly diminished.

How does HITV Therapy work?

The protocol involves the harvesting of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the patient and culturing them in the laboratory to differentiate into immature dendritic cells and then introducing them back into the patient’s body through injections into the tumour(s).

In round 1, the cultured immature dendritic cells that have been injected into the tumour act as the reconnaissance soldiers that will hunt out the cancer cells and gather information for the infantry. Once the information is passed on to the infantry, the soldiers or killer T-cells will launch specific attacks to destroy the enemies (cancer cells).

Round 2 involves a combination of Tomotherapy, an advanced form of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and another intra-tumoural injection of immature autologous dendritic cells. Tomotherapy precisely targets all the tumours in one sweep to kill off the cancer cells while reducing radiation exposure to the surrounding normal tissues. The second round of HITV Therapy does the final cleansing.

The success of the treatment

Dr. Hasumi has treated over 350 patients with metastatic cancer since 2008 at his clinic in Tokyo (ICVS Tokyo Clinic) and he has a success rate of 70 per cent.

Direct injection of dendritic cells into the tumour allows for adequate numbers of such cells to reach the tumour site where they generate therapeutic cancer vaccine, causing the regression of the tumour and at the same time enhancing immune response dramatically. Through intra-tumoural injection, dendritic cells also have the benefit of an ideal in vivo (occurring in a living organism) environment in the patient’s body so there is less chance of antigenic difference.

HITV Therapy used in combination with radiotherapy achieves two goals – that of damaging the cancer cells to kill them and wiping out the regulatory T-cells (T-cells that suppress the activation of other T-cells like the killer T-cells) within the tumours. The second round of HITV treatment will wipe out the newly mutated cancer cells that have moved outside the treated sites enroute to new sites which will later show up as new tumour lesions.

Treatment found to be safe

Patients who have undergone HITV treatment have not shown any adverse effects at all. As the dendritic cells are harvested from the patient’s own body for culturing in the laboratory, then introducing them back into the patient’s body, there is no harmful reaction. There are few side effects; at worst, some patients experienced mild fever or flu-like symptoms.

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