To make AGS-003, a small tumor sample is obtained during the initial, standard surgery (nephrectomy). Following recovery from surgery, a blood donation procedure (leukapheresis) is performed to collect a certain type of blood cell which is required to make dendritic cells. Once these elements are combined, up to several years of treatment is made for each patient.
Where AGS-003 Fits
Adding AGS-003 to targeted drug therapy may represent an important advancement in the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. In a previous clinical trial, AGS-003 was safely added to a commonly used targeted therapy and appeared to trigger an immune response which helped patients fight their cancer.
Are there Side-Effects?
On its own, AGS-003 has limited overall side effects compared to other cancer therapies because it is made from the patient’s own blood cells and designed to trigger a natural immune response against the signals or antigens expressed on their cancer cells. Patients have noticed mild skin reactions after injection, as well as short-lived flu-like symptoms and tenderness in the lymph nodes. AGS-003 has also been safely combined with a commonly used targeted therapy called Sutent (sunitinib), without causing additional side-effects beyond those normally expected with these therapies.