Immunotherapy of Cancer – The Importance of Macrophage Activation
Saturday, October 22th, 2017, 9.15 – 9.45 a.m
I describe the development of an alternative type of macrophage-based immunotherapy that traces its origins to the nineteenth century when Dr. William B. Coley successfully treated inoperable cancer patients with his vaccine.
Despite the well documented successes, the vaccine did not survive Coley’s times and was forgotten and neglected for decades in favor of radio- and chemotherapy. In the mid-fifties of the last century, the concept of a therapy based on stimulation of the immune system re-emerged from oblivion even though with a profoundly diverse connotation; the interest in this approach to cancer has grown exponentially ever since, up to the point of appointing immunotherapy of cancer the” breakthrough of the year” in 2013.
Most cancer immunotherapies are based on proteins that either empower the immune system or attempt to selectively kill cancer cells. There are, however, some exceptions to this protein-based approach; the pioneering work of Dr. Prudden in New York and our research work at the University of Firenze, Italy since the eighties. Thus, independently of each other, we pursued an alternative concept of immunotherapy that is based on glycosaminoglycans rather than on proteins.
From this research, a novel, tridimensional supramolecular structure constituted by chondroitin sulfate, vitamin D and oleic acid, designated Rerum, was developed with the intent of reviving the historical approach of Dr. Coley at the light of today’s knowledge. I describe the rationale for the development of Rerum as a novel concept of macrophage activating factor as well as significant results in the fields of oncology, inflammatory bowel disease and pain management.
Round-Table – “Non-toxic Tumor Therapy”
Sunday, October 22th, 2017, 1.30 – 4.30 p.m
Conventional (radio- and chemo-) tumor therapy is cytotoxic by definition as it is designed to inflict damage to human cells.
It is no longer a mystery that secret experiments were carried out by Goodman and Gilman during World War II to try to exploit mustard gas to treat lymphomas, the rationale laying in the observation of World War I that exposure to nonlethal doses of mustard gas caused a decrease of white blood cell count.
However, prior to the discovery of X-rays and much earlier than World War I, very advanced cancers were successfully treated using a non-toxic approach that today is termed immunotherapy. Since 1891, for about forty years, Dr. W.B. Coley, in the quality of chief of the Bone Tumor Service at Memorial Hospital in New York, injected more than one thousand cancer patients with his immunotherapy vaccine reporting excellent results that were replicated by other doctors and, by the turn of the century, the approach based on Coley’s intuition was practiced on both sides of the Atlantic.
It has been demonstrated that the immunotherapeutic effects of Coley’s vaccine are due to a class of molecules, glycosaminoglycans and not to proteins. These observation constitute the rational for the development of Rerum, the most advanced form of Coley’s vaccine, a non-toxic approach to tumor therapy.
The approach to cancer based on Rerum combines old observation on the role of chondroitin sulfate, vitamin D and oleic acid in immunotherapy with innovative concepts based on a detailed knowledge of their mode of action at the molecular level.
Prof. Marco Ruggiero MD, PhD – Vita
- Professor Marco Ruggiero was born in Firenze, Italy, and graduated from the School of Medicine. He has a PhD in Molecular Biology and a specialization in Diagnostic Radiology.
- He worked at the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology of Burroughs Wellcome Co, where he published a paper in PNAS sponsored by Nobel Laureate Sir John Vane.
- He is renowned for his exceptional expertise in the field oncology due to his work at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where he performed research on oncogenes and signal transduction.
- He returned to Italy as Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Firenze until his retirement in 2014. He now lives in Arizona, United States of America.
- Marco Ruggiero has invented “Rerum”, a powerful, non-protein, Macrophage Activating Factor (MAF) and has developed the Ruggiero-Klinghardt Protocol.
- He is the author of seminal scientific articles and a celebrated speaker at medical venues around the globe.
Prof. Marco Ruggiero MD, PhD
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