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Media Room

News Releases / 2008

Bostwick Therapeutics Announces Initiation of Phase I/II Trial in Advanced Prostate Cancer

Los Angeles, CA, 09/05/2008

Bostwick Therapeutics announced today that it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Institutional Review Board of Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura, CA., to initiate the CRITICAL (CRyotherapy and IntraTumoral Immunotherapy with immature dendritic Cells (AutoLogous)) trial, a clinical trial examining the potential of a novel combination of cryoablation and intra-tumoral injection of "virgin" dendritic cells (VDC2008) to treat men with metastatic androgen-independent prostate cancer. Cryoablation (freezing) of cancer in the prostate will employ state-of-the-art technology provided by Endocare, Inc., Irvine, CA.

The study investigators, Drs. Duke Bahn and Mark Scholz, will introduce the study at the 2008 meeting of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute ( on Saturday, September 6 in Los Angeles. "It has long been considered that cryoablation of cancerous tissue might lead to an immune response that could potentially be clinically significant," said Dr. Bahn. "Through the application of VDC2008, we will attempt to leverage this potential by combining cancer ablation with immune-activating therapy."

Dr. Duke Bahn is the Medical Director at the Prostate Institute of America located at Community Memorial Hospital. The Prostate Institute of America is an internationally recognized center providing a focus on early detection and minimally invasive treatment with a commitment to leading the medical community in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

VDC2008 consists of each patient's own immature dendritic cells obtained from blood-borne precursors and introduced back to the individual ("personalized medicine"). Dendritic cells are capable of triggering a highly specific immune response against antigenic targets systemically (throughout the body). Cryoablation of cancer releases numerous antigens (proteins), and intratumoral injection of VDC2008 into this antigen-rich environment may result in targeted immune-mediated destruction of cancer metastases.

Dr. Scholz noted: "In order to realize the potential of cancer immunotherapy, we may need to alter the host environment. For this trial, we will attempt to reduce the undesirable effect of regulatory T cells at the same time we attempt to induce a systemic, anti-cancer immune response with VDC2008 following cryoablation."

William Cavanagh, President of Bostwick Therapeutics, added, "We are cautiously optimistic that this novel, personalized treatment will be successful in prolonging survival and improving quality of life for men with metastatic androgen-independent prostate cancer. As our inaugural clinical trial for prostate cancer, this represents the culmination of many years of planning, and is based on the best available evidence. As a division of Bostwick Laboratories(r), we are excited at the prospect of bringing the same commitment to excellence and innovation to personalized treatment of cancer as our colleagues bring to the personalized diagnosis of cancer."