What is a Tumor Bank?
The unique therapies used at Biotherapy International are largely based on extensive clinical and research experience. In doing so, accessing intact patient tumor samples is often a decisive advantage in developing advanced personal immunotherapies, particularly anti-cancer vaccines.
The only way to gain access to samples that may be obtained during surgery or biopsy is to store them in a specialized tumor bank, a place where tumor fragments can be cryogenically frozen for an unlimited period of time.
How does a tumor bank work?
The main goal of a tumor bank is to ensure that tumor tissues are completely preserved without destroying or damaging their unique DNA sequences. For this purpose, small tumor tissue samples are stored at -80°C in cooling chambers or in liquid nitrogen at -196°C.
Under these conditions, tumor samples can be stored for many years. If necessary, samples are thawed in a special way that prevents tissue damage. This makes it possible to obtain and analyze molecular and genetic features of the tumor, select the most effective immunotherapy drugs, and prepare personal anti-cancer vaccines.
How are tumor samples used?
Our own tumor freezing bank at our clinic enables us to develop innovative methods of cancer immunotherapy, in particular, “anti-cancer vaccines”.
The mechanism of action of anticancer vaccines is based on teaching the immune system to recognize tumor cells again. The immune system thus begins to “see” a particular tumor mutation as foreign and attacks it in the same way as it would attack normal infections. Thus, anti-cancer vaccines are developed individually for each patient. Two ways of preparing anticancer vaccines are possible:
- Cells from a tumor sample are mixed with safe oncolytic viruses.
- Cells from a tumor sample are mixed with Coley’s toxin.
In both methods, cancer cells are altered so that they are easily recognized by the immune system as a foreign agent and thus trigger a strong immune response from the body.
Why is it recommended to cryopreserve tumor samples?
We recommend that all cancer patients preserve a tumor sample in a specialized tumor bank. This will allow the unique mutations and properties of the tumor to be analyzed. Furthermore, the tumor tissue will be available for use when needed – for example, if the possibilities of conventional medicine are exhausted.
Specialists only need to analyze a small sample of a tumor to select next-generation drugs that can fight cancer mutations. Tumor fragments can be used to create powerful anti-cancer vaccines that can help the immune system fight cancer cells even if they have developed resistance to drugs or have spread throughout the body.