T-cell Modulating Therapy
TCM, Name given by the acronym in English: T Cell Modulator.
Its main work relies as an adjuvant and stimulant in the immune response of the cancer patient. Although its name is specific for a single cell type, the T cells, their function is broad and impacts on the multiple activities of these cells.
To better understand this we must first explain the basic structure of the cells we are going to stimulate, also known as white blood cells or leukocytes, within these, we have lymphocytes and myeloid cells, all of them large families of cell groups which share similar characteristics but each have their own functions within the organism.
We will focus in this lecture on the cells in charge of battling cancer, setting aside their origin and family to focus only on their biggest asset, its function!
The cells of the immune system in charge of mounting the immune response against malignant cells are:
- Cytotoxic and collaborator T lymphocytes
- Dendritic cells
- NK cells
- L.A.K cells
Each of these cells has a special function within the battle against malignant cells.
The first step consists of recognizing the dysfunctional cell, presenting this malignant cell to other immune cells and then attacking and destroying it, to do this, these cells use a communication system between them that allows all these functions.
This is where cancer can produce its effects to achieve its development and tumor formation; where malignant cells evade recognition and thus block the response against them, preventing the necessary messages from being transmitted between our immune cells inactivating the sequence of events required for the destruction of these cells.
Let us further explain the major functions of each of our specialized immune cells.
We have two types, one called cooperative t-cells, capable of sending messages to attack cells, where we can say that its function is to initiate the cascade of the coordinated immune responses through these specific messages.
And we have cytotoxic T-cells, this is an attack cell, responsible for eliminating malignant cells through different chemical agents that are produced and released against these defective cells.
These cells have two main functions, they help in the presentation of the enemy, this is, they help to identify the malignant cell so that the rest of cells, such as the cytotoxic T-cells can attach it.
And, the dendritic cell has a defense system known as phagocytosis; where the dendritic cell “eats” or inserts the malignant cell inside itself to later destroy it.
Natural Killer cells
These cells are of paramount importance in the immune response against cancer, since its only function as its name indicates it is to kill. They are the first to respond to a treat and specialize in attacking malignant cells. This is achieved by attacking the wall of the malignant cell, destroying it to be able to enter and continue the destructive process.
These NK cells must first be activated through these messages that are coordinated between the cells involved in the immune response.
Just as the cells before their name can tell us a lot about their mechanism of action, ACTIVATED KILLER LYMPHOCYTES.
These cells are NK cells that are created in the immunology lab, that is, once the NK cells are extracted and isolated, they are stimulated with chemical agents so that they become L.A.K.
Physically they are similar to the NK however their destructive potential in greater, making them a killer with greater capacity of damage and effectiveness.
Now that we have spoken about and distinguished the immune cells responsible for the anti-tumor response. We can explain with more ease how the TCM works. We mentioned at the beginning that, despite the name, T-cell modulators, its function is not limited exclusively to these types of cells, but to the whole range of cells described before.
So, what is the TCM?
In summary, with the TCM, we are making sure that the immune response is carried out, that is, the activation of the attack cells through the messages required for them to be present. The TCM is in synthesis a specific encoded message that will trigger the chain of reactions in charge of activating the attack cells.
Let’s talk about the composition of the TCM, these are coded messages in the form of an elaborated series of polypeptides, these polypeptides are the smallest part of an amino acid, and an amino acid is the smallest part of a protein, so we can say that TCM are messenger proteins.
Where do we get these proteins you ask?
The type of immune response that we have been describing is not exclusive to humans, we share this type of immunity with many living beings on this planet, thanks to science and technology today we understand the huge relationship that exists between all forms of life, as well as the different forms of life that have a close relationship with the human being, possibly as part of its evolutionary process.
We get these proteins from two main sources of shark and crocodile spleen.
The spleen in an organ, it is part of the immune system and in charge of producing these messages or proteins. It is of great importance to understand that, although we are talking about non-human species, the level at which we are working is merely cellular, making these differences between species practically null, hence the ability to use them in humans in a safe form, thus achieving the required response.
Once the proteins are extracted from these 2 species, we proceed to separate amino acids and finally the polypeptides that will be in charge of the different activities in the immune response.
So, how do the TCM’s work with the special attack cells?
Its greater benefit we see is with the dendritic cells, where it will help to obtain its maturation so that it does its function of presentation and in turn attack. By achieving this stimulation of the dendritic cell, we generate the activation of the T-cell to start the destructive response. On the other hand, it will also directly stimulate the NK cell population by activating them against the malignant cell.
Other functions are, preventing the implantation of proteins produced by malignant cells in order to generate activity at a distance, it also combats the mutation of the malignant cells maintaining a constant immune response.
The TCM’s can perform these functions even without the presence or without the combination of the cellular therapy. That is, the TCM’s are able to activate the immune system by itself.
However we must remember two important aspects:
One, by definition, cancer patients are in a state of immune compromise and the proof of this is the presence of the disease, and two, on patients who have been previously treated with chemotherapy, which generates multiple side effects, it is likely that there is damage to the white blood cells, thus generating a considerable decrease in the number and availability of these attack and defense cells.
By having a low number of “soldiers” the immune response may be present, but insufficient to cope with the disease.
Despite this, an immune system with low numbers is able to generate an efficient and effective response. But as we commented in several of our videos, we cannot generalize since one of the main characteristics of the disease is individuality.
The TCM in combination with the cellular therapy is a very effective therapeutic tool because with it, we are able to present an adequate amount of previously programed soldiers, and two we have the message that will lead to the activation of immune response.
The TCM is a proprietary product of the comprehensive program of this hospital and is positioned as an essential tool in the management of cancer. Its side effects are null.
This gives us an enormous advantage in not having to watch over the toxic impact as is the case of chemotherapy, a treatment that most probably requires some type of management or support in order to avoid complications and maintain the quality of life.
Once again the TCM does not attack the quality of life, allowing us as doctors, the power to stabilize those patients who are in complex states.