Biologic and Immunotherapies
Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is a type of cancer treatment designed to boost the body's natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses substances either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function. We currently have several clinical trials in progress at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital:
Vigil, previously called FANG, is a vaccine for Ewing’s sarcoma, the second most common primary bone malignancy in children and adolescents.
A monoclonal antibody for patients with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a life-threatening immune system disorder.
Chimeric 14.18 and IL-2
Used for the treatment of Neuroblastoma, the most common form of cancer affecting infants. The ch14.18 monoclonal antibody specifically targets a substance called GD2 that is found at high levels on the surface of neuroblastoma cells. When the immune system detects the presence of the antibody on the cancer cells, it triggers responses that kill the cancer cells. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a protein that regulates the activities of white blood cells that are responsible for immunity.
Monoclonal Antibody-based treatments
Treatment for Leukemia and Solid Tumors. Monoclonal Antibodies are man-made versions of immune system proteins which can be very useful in treating cancer because they can be designed to attack a very specific part of a cancer cell.