Tumour Immune Response Activated by Precision Laser Therapy
Heating up tumour tissue with high-precision laser beams, activates the body’s immune system to attack the tumour cells.
Immunostimulating Interstitial Laser Thermotherapy (imILT) is developed and marketed by Clinical Laserthermia Systems AB (CLS). It works by using laser beams to generate lower, not coagulating, temperatures in the area of the tumour border, which has the effect that intact tumour antigens are released while the tumour cells are killed. The antigens are exposed to the immune system, which, in turn, creates a specific immune response against the remaining tumour, including disease at other sites.
The laser light is delivered by an optic fibre applicator placed in an introducer of slightly more than 2 mm in diameter. In addition, a temperature probe, of slightly more than 1 mm in diameter, is also inserted in conjunction with the fibre applicator and is used for precise control of the temperature during imILT.
”The therapy is minimally invasive, image guided and is developed for treating patients with late stage and metastasised cancer. Often, these patients don’t answer to existing therapies due to the advanced progression of their cancer disease. This is especially true for patients with late stage pancreatic cancer, which is one of our primary target groups,” says Dan J. Mogren, CCO of CLS, whose head office is located next door to the Lund University Cancer Research Center at Medicon Village in Lund.
”That said, the technology could also be used for patients with non-metastasised cancer. It has basically no dose limitation and it can be combined with surgery, radiation therapy, vascular occlusion therapies and cytostatic, angiostatic and immunomodulating drugs,” he adds.
Based on extensive research
The probe and fibre introducer come in lengths of 10-35 cm for flexible working angles. The optic fibre is 3 or 12 metres long and connected to the system’s mobile laser unit. The other instruments are operative, sterile and disposable, instruments packaged in patient kits.
”Our technology and products are based on research, performed by Professor Karl-Göran Tranberg and his team at Lund University during the two last decades. Similar technology has formerly been used on non-metastasised cancer only, but with relatively low precision,” Dan Mogren comments.
CLS is currently conducting clinical studies at several sites in Europe. Three of these studies are financed by EU and the Horizon2020 program by EUR 2.3 million, and are targeting pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.
”We’ve also initiated the market entry process in the USA and have, as a first step, started a collaboration with University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) focusing on treatment for prostate cancer,” says Mogren.