FAQ - Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

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What are Dendritic cells and how are they useful?

Dendritic cells are blood cells present in every person's bloodstream. They function as an immune cell but are present in small numbers. They identify cancer cells, process them into bits, and jumpstart the immune response by bringing the foreign substance to the attention of the rest of the immune system (T cells). The activated immune system is then able to circulate throughout the body and destroy the cancer cells. This dendritic cell therapy, commonly known as immunotherapy, has gained widespread popularity in recent times. Book an appointment at any of the Denvax clinics to know more about how effective is immunotherapy for cancer, what are dendritic cells. immunotherapy success rate, and more.

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What happens in cancer?

In cancer, the immune system fails; cells of the immune system fail to recognize the cancer cells. The immune system doesn't "see" tumors as dangerous or foreign, and doesn't mount a strong attack against them. Another reason tumor may not stimulate an immune response is that the cancer cells develop ways to escape the immune system.

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What is DENVAX (Dendritic cell therapy)?

Cancer occurs because the immune system has failed. Numerous researches now prove that this defect in the immune system can be corrected outside the body (ex vivo technology). DENVAX is dendritic cell therapy, which involves the extraction of mononuclear (CD14+) cells from the patient's own blood, transformation of these cells into cancer-fighting cells and giving back to the patient.

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How is DENVAX prepared?

Mononuclear (CD14+) cells are extracted from the patient's peripheral blood. These cells are cultured, exposed to maturation stimuli and then re-infused into the same patient on the the 8th day of blood collection.

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What kind of cancers can be treated by DENVAX therapy?

This includes solid tumors mainly, including cancers of the bladder, bone, brain, breast, head & neck, gallbladder, kidney, liver, lung, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and testicular.

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At what cancer stage should a patient consider DENVAX therapy?

A patient may consider DENVAX therapy when:

  • the patient is free of disease but at a risk of recurrence
  • palliation is required
  • patient requires immune-therapy in addition to ongoing chemo/radiation therapy
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How are Dendritic cells made to recognize the patient's tumor cells?

Dendritic cells should recognize the patient's tumor cells and target them once inside the body. But before that they must undergo 'maturation'. For this the dendritic cells are exposed to tumor antigen-self or non-self.

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Who will benefit most from the therapy?

DENVAX works best in patients

  • who opt early during the disease progression;
  • who opt immediately after surgery, when tumor load is minimal.
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How is DENVAX administered?

DENVAX is administered as an infusion in 100ml DNS, in twenty minutes.

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What are the side effects of DENVAX?

There are minimal side effects. Some patients may experience mild-moderate grade fever after vaccine administration lasting 24-48 hours. Some may experience lethargy/weakness for few days.

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Are there any contraindications for this therapy?

There are no contraindications to this therapy.

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What kind of treatment is done here/what is the Denvax treatment all about?

We do cancer immunotherapy. We make medicine for patient, with patient’s blood. Blood is processed in lab, and medicine prepared which is given back to the same patient. This medicine works at killing cancer cells just like chemotherapy. But via the immune system.

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How much blood is taken?

We take 20 ml blood for one dose. 60 ml for 3 doses.

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What is the Procedure of treatment?

We take blood for 2 doses or 3 doses, as advised by the doctor. We manufacture the Denvax Immunotherapy medicine, and then give back to the same patient on 10th day of taking blood.

This is repeated at every 15 days.

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How many doses does the patient need?

The protocol is of 6 doses. First we assess the response to treatment. If patient is responding well, in the first 2/3 doses then we collect blood again and at 15 days we give all the 6 doses. Total 3 months duration. If the patient is feeling good, responding to treatment then we take fresh blood again and manufacture 3 more doses. This time we give it at 21 days interval.

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What is dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

Denvax is Dendritic cell therapy. Dendritic cells are cells of our immune system. They work at fighting cancer cells. We all have it. Cancer patients also have them, only that they are not working properly. So we bring them out and train them to fight cancer cells. This process is done in the lab. And once they are trained, we give them back to the same patient.

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How safe is the treatment?

The treatment is very safe. Patient’s own cells are drawn, processed in the lab and given back. So there is no adverse value to the treatment. It is afae treatment protocol.

  • There are no long term or short term adverse effects of the treatment.
  • At the most patient may experience fever for a day or two.
  • At times, it helps to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, also.
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How is it given?

It is given back as an infusion, just like a normal drip, in 20 minutes.

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Where can we take the medicine?

We can give the medicine in your home. Your patient need not travel to our clinic. Still if you want to come to our clinic, you are most welcome.

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Who will give the medicine?

Our trained technician will give you the medicine. He will be the one who will administer it to you, as a drip.

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Can we meet Dr. Khan/ Dr. Sharmin? What is the procedure of appointment?

Yes you can meet them. We can arrange a video call for you after we book an appointment.

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What if we want to see them personally?

Yes, why not, you can meet them in our clinic also. If they are available we will surely try to arrange a meeting with them. But, they are mostly busy. But we will surely try. We can book an appointment for you. And our team of doctors will see you. They will then brief them. If Dr Khan /Dr. Sharmin are available in the office, they will be happy to meet you/ we will surely arrange a meeting with them.

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What type of cancers can be treated?

We treat All Solid tumors. We don’t treat Leukemia AML, CML, ALL, CLL.

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List of cancers we treat:

Bone, Lung, Oral, Tongue, Nose, Eye, Skin, Melanoma, Urinary bladder Brain Head and Neck cancers

All gut cancers: stomach, Intestinal, Pancreas, Gallbladder, Liver, Esophagus, COlon, Rectal, etc

All Male cancers: testicular, prostate

All Gynecologic cancers : cervix, uterine, ovarian, breast cancer Lung,

Also, Multiple myeloma and Lymphoma

Any type of cancer not mentioned here, don’t say we dont treat. Instead say we treat. It is the doctors who will decide.

Even if Blirubin is high, dont say we dont treat jaundice patient. This is not your job. It is doctors who will decide.

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How many doses we need?

Doctor will decide the number of doses we give. Mostly it is a 6 dose protocol. But doctors decide if they need more doses.

(If patient insists)

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Is it a 100% guarantee.

No, we don’t give guarantee. No treatment can give you guarantee. You can ask the doctor. He will tell you better, once he sees the patient.

Most patients are benefitted by the treatment. Majority show good response to the treatment.

Once you start the treatment you will get to know its benefits. Most of our patients show good response to the patient.

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Do you treat 2nd stage or 3rd stage cancers also?

Yes we treat all stages of cancer, be it 1, 2, 3 or 4.

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What will be the benefit of treatment ?

You can expect a good quality of life for you patient. There will be Improvement in their present condition, Reduction of their complaints. It helps to control to the disease also. Initially, patient will start to feel better, complaints will reduce. Later on patient may have improved survival chances only.

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Can we have another patient’s phone number?

We dont share another patient’s phone number. It would be unethical on our part to share your details or somebody’s details with you.

If you want to meet patients on our treatment, you can come and visit our Delhi office or Mumbai office, and our staff will help you meet with them.

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What is your dietary advice?

We will share with you our dietary chart. Please go through it.

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If diagnosis of cancer is not confirmed, what to do?

If diagnosis is not confirmed, you can still send us your reports if you, If patient has the reports or No reports, arrange an appointment. The doctors will explain to them what to do.

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