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HOSPITAL Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) is currently carrying out a small trial utilising a form of immunotherapy called Human Initiated Therapeutic Vaccine (HITV). In the trial, HITV is used in combination with modulated radiotherapy to treat advanced stage (metastatic) cancers. HITV is pioneered by Hasumi International Research Foundation’s Dr Kenichiro Hasumi.

It involves the use of dendritic cells to stimulate an immune system response to cancer. The dendritic cells are harvested from the patient and cultured in a laboratory. They are then reintroduced back into the patient, along with activated T cells.

Dendritic cells are part of the immune system, and are basically cells that detect foreign or harmful substances. Upon detection of such potentially harmful cells, other components in the immune system are activated to initiate an appropriate response.

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