Immunomonitoring is essential to meet our ultimate objective to cure cancer and infectious diseases. For immunomonitoring to be useful in contributing data in support of this effort, it is important to know what to monitor and when to monitor. To make these decisions, it is important to have an understanding of the nature of the immune system and how it fulfills its mission in protecting the body and also what happens when it fails in its mission to protect. Researchers have attempted to control the immune system through vaccination to eliminate and protect against cancer and HIV without success. We believe this is due to a lack of understanding of how the immune system works as a dynamic network, rather than a series of on-off switches.
The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. This network includes cells from the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes, those lining the blood vessels and those within tissues. The cells in the network have the ability to communicate using chemical signals and signals delivered through receptors on the surface of cells during cell-to-cell interactions. Major immune system effector functions, such as attack and killing, cleaning up/eating dead cells and debris, suppressing attack, etc. occur after a cascade of immune events have occurred in a precise sequence in time. The network has many redundant pathways, so blocking one pathway can lead to re-routing to another.
Our success in developing Mirror EffectTM technology has been in understanding the immune cascades that occur during an effective immune response and an ineffective response through immunomonitoring. Then by comparison of the effective and ineffective cascades, using tools available to us in order to develop immunotherapy products that can correct the deficiencies in order to obtain the desired result. Through the understanding of the immune system as a network and the immune response as a cascade of events, we also understand that the products we develop must be integrated into protocols that deliver the proper signals to the immune events in space and time.
Previous attempts at vaccination against cancer and HIV attempt to only control one event (or a limited number of events) with a single antigen at a single point in time have failed to elicit consistent elimination of these diseases. This one event thinking considers the immune system to be a collection of binary “on-off” events. In such thinking, the immune system is considered to have responded to the cancer or virus in a weak manner and the intervention is to strengthen the immune response. In our view, this is an overly simplified type of thinking about the immune system. In existing disease where the immune system has already been exposed to the disease organism and failed to eliminate it, reintroduction of the same disease organism using technology to enhance the immune response only serves to enhance the immune cascade which fails to eliminate the disease. In our view, what is needed is a mean to imprint upon the immune system a new effective cascade and eliminate the memory of the failed cascade.