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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DC Therapy

A needle in my leg and an unhappy guise.
Today I started the second part of the Bio-immune Cellular Therapy that I am receiving here at Angeles.  As I explained in the previous post, yesterday's NK cell treatment was rather anti-climatic.  A five minute I.V.  I probably should have settled for less than exciting.  The dendritic cells are administered subcutaneously, an injection under the skin near the lymph nodes.  Today was the first of four I'll receive, all in different areas.  The injection site was my left inguinal lymph, or left groin.  After ten minutes of ice, a delicate (yet frickin' long!) needle was inserted into my thigh to inject topical anesthetic.  While this was happening I eyed the syringe of cells which sat on the table with a considerably larger needle.  To my relief, the lab tech unscrewed the syringe leaving the needle buried and replaced it with the DCs.  No need for a second poke!  However, the slow injection quickly intensified as the liquid bulged under my skin.  Yes, painful!  Though, as I explained to Chris, nothing really compared to a bowel obstruction.  The needle was removed, a topical pain relief gel was applied, and I was told not to move for 15 minutes.  Of course, the detailed instructions were given in Spanish and interpreted.  Though I understood generally I wasn't sure if that meant don't move my leg or don't get off the bed.  I really wanted to move my leg and shake out the pain.  Never the less, I sat in stillness breathing through the discomfort imagining those cute little kick ass dendritics absorbing into my lymph nodes.  If yesterday's NK cells were the Marines I guess these guys are Special Ops.  Though really, in my new-agey ways, I imagine them all as Peaceful Warriors.

I did a quick Google search for more info rather than adjusting and adding the info from the hospital's info packet (as I did yesterday).  I've added the links to these pages if you're interested in more information.  The first link includes a video titled "Using Dendritic Cells to Create Cancer Vaccines" and the second link includes a list of articles with in-depth information.  Of course, this is just one site, I believe from Stanford Medical.  There is plenty of info out there coming from research outside the country as well.

Introducing Dendritic Cell Therapy

Dendritic Cell (DC) therapy represents a new and promising immunotherapeutic approach for treatment of advanced cancer as well as for prevention of cancer. As Dr. Harmon Eyre, the VP of Research at the AMA commented: “Patients’ responses are far out of proportion to anything that any current therapy could do”. For decades, cancer researchers have been interested in immunologic treatments against cancer but with little progress. However, recent advances lead to successful implementation of Dendritic Cell therapy with reports of complete responses even in stage IV cancer patients who have failed all other therapies. Dendritic Cell (DC) Therapy or so-called Dendritic Cell vaccine is a newly emerging and potent form of immune therapy used to treat cancer.

What is DC Therapy?

Dendritic Cell (DC) Therapy or so-called Dendritic Cell vaccine is a newly emerging and potent form of immune therapy used to treat cancer. Only recently (2010) approved by the US FDA, dendritic cell therapy is an immune therapy which harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. The dendritic cell itself is an immune cell whose role is the recognition, processing and presentation of foreign antigens to the T-cells in the effector arm of the immune system. Although dendritic cell are potent cells, they are not usually present in adequate quantity to allow for a potent immune response. Dendritic cell therapy thus involves the harvesting of blood cells (monocytes) from a patient and processing them in the laboratory to produce dendritic cells which are then given back to a patient in order to allow massive dendritic cell participation in optimally activating the immune system.

1 comment:

emavens solutions said...

dendritic cell cancer therapy - Cancer is a generic denomination, which includes different forms of the same illness. All types of cancer have in common, that a group of cells show uncontrolled growth which leads to the formation of tumors threatening the life of the patient. All cancers begin in cells, the body's basic unit of life. The cells grow and divide in a controlled way to produce more cells as they are needed to keep the body healthy. When cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced with new cells. alternative treatment for cancer