Dendritic cells (DCs) are one of the major antigen-presenting cells found in lymphoid organs. Main function of the dendritic cells is antigen display and activation of T-cells. Antigen display presents the identity of pathogen to T-cells for their identification and elimination from the body.
These cells have proficiency of capturing and processing tumor antigens, which activates expression of lymphocyte co-stimulatory molecules. Consequently, it results in secretion of cytokines to initiate immune response. In 1868, Paul Langerhans discovered dendritic cells. He thought they were a part of the nervous system cells due to their branched structure. Therefore, their identity was mistaken until the 1970s. In 1973, Zanvil Cohn and Ralph Steinman recognized them as a new type of white blood cells (WBC) with distinctive nature, features, concentration, and function in immunity.
Cancer is an enormously complex disease and researchers are still trying to understand the variety of factors responsible for its origin, transmission, metastasis, etc. According to report on cancer vaccines by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2016, an anticipated 1.7 Mn new cancer cases were reported in the U.S. alone. Furthermore, the report mentioned that the annual incidence of cancer, worldwide, is projected to increase to 24 Mn by 2035. Presently, there is significant requirement for advanced and efficient treatments for cancer. Current standard approaches include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. However, there are some risks and side effects associated with these methods.
Different kinds of cancers have various sources of origin and have unique mechanisms which presents different complications in front of researchers to develop wide-ranging therapeutic treatments. Dendritic cells are adaptable in nature. Therefore, they can be modified depending on the cancer under examination, a dendritic cells vaccine can be formulated based on type of tumor accompanying antibodies. This vaccine can be expressed to target multiple cancers, which makes them effective for multiple objectives. Many of the clinical trials are investigating dendritic cell cancer vaccines which has the ability to help numerous patients. Currently, a steady supply of dendritic cells is necessary to develop novel cancer vaccines. Genetically modified dendritic cell cancer vaccines are grander tools for directing intractable cancers such as brain cancer therapy.
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Many studies have shown dendritic cells have the potential ability in combinational therapies to restrict the growth of the cancer. The assured curable effect of therapeutics, which also includes these vaccines, has not been proven; however, they are anticipated to perform far better than its contenders in the same category. The rise in investments in research and development activities, together with positive results in clinical trials, are anticipated to drive the expansion of the market for global dendritic cell cancer vaccine. Others factors fuelling the expansion of this market include the ability of dendritic cells to target multiple cancer antigen capability, rise in geriatric population, and technological advancements. Computer technology is assisting oncologists to plan and run replications on hypothetical vaccines to check their consequences on cellular forms, before going to lab tests and utilizing costly resources.
However, the results of dendritic cell cancer vaccines remain mysterious in clinical trials. More than 70% of these vaccine candidates are currently in clinical trial phases of development. The global dendritic cells vaccines market has accomplished to capture the attention of many strategic investors and stakeholders due to a lucrative development in pipeline. More than USD 1.5 billion has already been invested in this area in the last five years. Oncologists believe that this market is likely to present considerable lucrative opportunities due to existing unmet demand for safe and effective cancer treatments with less side effects and the innate advantages of dendritic cells.
Currently, the three marketed cancer vaccines commercially available in different geographies are Provenge (U.S.), CreaVax-RCC (South Korea), and Tumor Antigen Presenting Cells i.e. TAPCells (Chile). Provenge, is the first marketed dendritic cell vaccine available in the market. They are targeted to treat prostate cancer, metastatic renal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and prostate cancer. In April 2010, the FDA approved the first cancer treatment vaccine. This vaccine, sipuleucel-T (Provenge), is approved for usage in some men with metastatic prostate cancer.
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Key players operating in this market include 3M Company, Batavia Bioservices, Activartis, Dendreon, Merck KGaA, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Northwest Biotherapeutics, Tella Incorporation, Creagene, and ImmunoCellular Therapeutics.