Increase in cancer patients and need for NKT cell-targeted therapy.
The estimated number of people diagnosed with cancer was 982,000 in 2015 and 1,010,000 in 2016 (according to the website of the National Cancer Center), and the number of cancer deaths is increasing year by year, reaching 371,000 per year in 2015 and 374,000 or more in 2016 (the source is the same as above), making it the leading cause of death in Japan.Lung cancer has the highest number of deaths (2014; 52,505 men and 20,891 women, 2015: 55,300 men and 21,900 women (same source as above)). In 2015, it remained in first place for site-specific cancer deaths in men and second place for women. (Source: Center for Cancer Control and Information Services, National Cancer Center)
Changes in the number of deaths due to cancer
※Source: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare “Overview of 2014 Vital Statistics Monthly Annual Report (approximate numbers)”
※Source: Center for Cancer Control and Information Services, National Cancer Center
※All ages 2014
Lung cancer is characterized by a tendency to recur even after surgery, with recurrence occurring in approximately 50% of cases after surgery.Therefore, it is thought that cancer cells have already metastasized to another site of the lung before surgery. There is a desire to develop a treatment to kill these cancer cells to effectively treat lung cancer.The NKT cell-targeted therapy (immune function active substance/dendritic cell) developed jointly by RIKEN and Chiba University is introduced as follows.“We have completed phase 1 and 2 clinical trials with 17 patients with advanced lung cancer (stage IIIB, stage IV, or recurrent disease).In the case of advanced-stage lung cancer or recurrent lung cancer after completion of standard treatment, which is said to have a life expectancy of 6 months, the median survival of 60% of patients (10 cases) who obtained an immune response was 31.9 months, and the median survival of all cases was 31.9 months. Prolonged survival (19 months) was observed in all cases.Although this result is still in the research stage due to the small number of cases, it indicates the possibility that adjuvant immune cell therapy may be effective.”http://www.ims.riken.jp/projects/pj02.php