Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a cancer that originates in the nasopharynx, an area at the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Approximately 90,0001 new cases of NPC are diagnosed worldwide each year. Although radiotherapy is the main avenue of treatment for early-stage NPC, 20-30% of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage of disease and are not considered curable. NPC is strongly associated with Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection, particularly in Asia, where close to 100% of NPC tumors are EBV-positive.
Cervical carcinoma (CC) is a cancer that originates in the cervical tissue of the female reproductive tract. Approximately 500,0001 new cases of CC are diagnosed worldwide each year. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is strongly associated with CC and 70 – 80% of CC are HPV-positive. Surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are often used to treat advanced CC. Although several HPV vaccines are available, these vaccines cannot treat CC patients who are already infected with HPV.
Oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) is a cancer that originates in the oropharynx, an area at the back of the mouth that connects to the esophagus. Approximately 140,0001 new cases of OPC are diagnosed worldwide each year, and 70% of these cancers are HPV-positive. Surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy may be used to treat OPC. As with CC, vaccines against HPV are unable to treat OPC patients who are already infected with the virus.
Gastric carcinoma (GC) is a cancer originating in the stomach. More than 900,0001 new cases of GC are diagnosed worldwide each year. Surgery is the only effective cure for GC. However, a majority of cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when treatment options are very limited and cure is unlikely. Approximately 10% of GC cases are EBV-positive, and EBV infection is known to be a causative factor in these malignancies.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer, accounting for 80% of all liver cancer cases. Approximately 700,000 – 800,000 new cases are diagnosed each year1. In countries where the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is endemic, this virus is the primary cause of HCC. Surgery is the only curative treatment for HCC, but is not suitable for a large majority of patients who have liver damage or whose cancer has spread. The benefits of chemotherapy are very limited and the single US FDA-approved targeted therapy only improves survival by an average of 2.8 months2. Without surgery, most patients do not survive beyond six months.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. Approximately 1.8 million1 new cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, the majority of which are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although some targeted therapies are available, most patients develop resistance to these medications within a year of use3. Surgery and chemotherapy remain the standard of care, although recent approvals of new immunotherapy drugs have expanded the available treatment options for advanced NSCLC.
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer encompasses a group of similar cancers originating from tissues of the lip, mouth, nose, sinuses, pharynx and larynx. Most of these cancers are of the ‘squamous cell carcinoma’ type and are collectively called ‘head and neck squamous cell carcinoma’ (HNSCC). 400,000 – 600,0001 new cases of HNSCC are diagnosed worldwide each year. Treatment depends on the type and location of the cancer, although surgery followed by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are frequently indicated.
1. World Health Organization: GLOBOCAN 2012 Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality, and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012.
2. Llovet JM, Ricci S, Mazzaferro V, et al. Sorafenib in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:378-90
3. Gainor J., Shaw A. (2013). Emerging paradigms in the development of resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in lung cancer. J Clin Oncol 31: 3987–3996
Our clinical trials are based on the use of Tessa’s proprietary Virus-Specific T Cell adoptive immunotherapy platform that redirects specialized cancer-killing cells in our immune system to identify and kill cancer.
If you wish to participate in a clinical trial, please follow the links provided below and contact one of the enrolling hospitals directly.
A Multicentre, Randomized, Open-Label, Phase III Clinical Trial of Gemcitabine and Carboplatin Followed by Epstein-Barr Virus-Specific Autologous Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes Versus Gemcitabine and Carboplatin as First Line Treatment for Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients