Cancer is the generic term for the group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. According to the WHO, approximate 8.2 million people die every year from cancer with about 14 million new cases every year. The WHO projects that in the next two decades, without a means to stop it, the number of new cancer cases will continue to increase significantly. Dr. Apté has believed for quite some time that cancer is an immunologic disease, and this is now a widely accepted theory of cancer of various types by the cancer research community. In the simplest explanation, cancer consists of abhorrent cells that are able to disguise themselves from the body's immune system and grow unchecked. The human body produces potential cancer cells all the time and a well-functioning immune system does not allow them to grow, killing them as they are identified. It is now recognized that immunologic treatment of cancer should be possible, and this is borne out by the fact that several immunologic treatments for some types of cancer have been very successful. For example, former president Jimmy Carter was recently cured of his metastasized melanoma by use of pembrolizumab, an antibody designed to attack the cancer. There are several examples of similar drugs effective against a few other cancers.
Instead of using a single cancer antibody treatment, ImmunoScience is working on a live virus (a “vector”) that will contain a "payload" delivery of different cancer markers simultaneously. This payload will also include therapies to suppress the mechanisms that cancer cells use to evade the immune system. By using a vector that will persistently activate the immune system, ImmunoScience expects that its proposed cancer vaccine will become the premier treatment modality for many, if not all, cancers. The advantages of such treatment will be significant. Chemical and radiation treatments, and their adverse side-effects could be eliminated. Vaccine treatments should require relatively few injections. Depending on the progress of the cancer when detected, surgery may not be required. The cure and survival rates for cancer will be greatly increased, and treatment costs will be hugely decreased.
As opposed to HIV research, there are significant advantages inherent in our cancer research in that we can validate proof of concept in animal studies, something that scientists cannot do with respect to HIV. Another advantage is that our Phase I trials will also show efficacy data to encourage our scientists and stockholders much sooner than typical in the biotech world. Not only does this reduce costs by having smaller Phase II and Phase III trials, but also it makes it very easy to get licensing and/or acquisition transactions.