imILT® – immune stimulating Interstitial Laser Thermotherapy

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

A novel therapy developed through the research of Swedish Professor Karl-Göran Tranberg and marketed by Clinical Laserthermia Systems AB (CLS).

The principle behind the immune stimulating interstitial thermotherapy (imILT®) is simple, but the procedure requires great precision and control.

The INTHER project will bring the groundbreaking immune stimulating Interstitial Laser Thermotherapy (imILT®) to the market and clinical practice. This minimally invasive therapy is designed to achieve local tumor destruction and stimulate specific antitumor immunity in a patient’s body.

In recent years, anti-cancer therapies based on activation of the immune system have grown in significance and popularity. This approach is especially viable for patients who previously had very few treatment options. However, only approx. 20 % of all patients respond to drug-based immunotherapies of today. The key need of medical oncologists is to increase those response rates and thus decrease cancer-related suffering, increase life expectancy and survival rates for the patients. The project will meet those needs by delivering a novel device-based cancer immunotherapy method that destroys the tumor locally and induces long-lasting, vaccination-like, systemic immunity against the treated form of cancer.

As the world’s first device-based laser immunotherapy, imILT® will curve its own market niche on the fast-growing Cancer Immunotherapy Market and therefore have a significant disruptive effect on this market.

The studies performed to date have confirmed the therapeutic capability of the new method. In the project, the method will be further validated for the two chosen solid tumor types: pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. This will enable CLS to shorten the time to full commercialization, obtain the clinical acceptance and fully exploit the commercial potential of the new treatment method.

The clinical uptake of imILT® in Europe will lead to reduction of costs associated with the treatment of solid tumors, especially surgeries, and reduction of costs related to the activation of immunotherapies.

CLS’ strategy is based on intensive efforts towards validating imILT® and bringing it to the market. The project is a key step towards realizing this business strategy.

The imILT® procedure
imILT® is developed for metastatic cancer, meaning cancer that has spread from the part in the body where it started (the primary site). When cancer cells break away from a tumor, they can travel to other areas of the body through the bloodstream or the lymph system (which contains a collection of vessels that carry fluid and immune system cells). With imILT® treatment activated cytotoxic T-cells home in on and kill tumor tissue throughout the body and set an immunological memory.

An optical laser fiber is inserted into the tumor. Laser light is then used to heat the tumor, in a gentle and controlled way, causing a process where the tumor then dies within a few days and antigens start leaking out of the tumor cells. The antigens activate the body’s immune system, which then also attacks other tumors and metastases in the body.