Our blood carries a whole host of immune cells and immune specific markers. These include T cells, B cells, natural killer cells as well as monocytes, stem cells and dendritic cells. Their interaction plays a fundamental role in enabling the body to launch a coordinated immune response against disease. In many patients with a chronic illness, the immune system is compromised and its response inadequate. A critical step in overcoming chronic disease is restoring the immune system and helping the immune cells identify and destroy invading microbes.
It is not uncommon for patients to suffer from multiple simultaneous infections. This is particularly true of persons suffering from Lyme Disease. While classically defined as an infection with Borrelia Burgdorferi, Lyme sufferers also exhibit a whole range of co-infections; not all of which can be defined or diagnosed. Treatment requires a multi-level approach, often directed towards an unknown target.
What is ACT?
ACT stands for autologous cyto-immunotherapy. It has been developed to take information found in a patient’s immune system and potentiate its activity. As the body responds to an infection, the immune system develops markers specific to the microbes it is being exposed to. By extracting the cells involved in this process, expanding the information and presenting it back to the immune system, this extract can be used to give selective and individualized responses back to the immune system. ACT also contains dendritic cells and stem cells. These too can be utilized to help modulate the body’s immune response.
Is ACT Safe?
ACT is safe to use as it is an immune therapy utilizing an extract made from a person’s own blood. The components found in ACT have been safely used in the fields of auto-immune disorders and immunology as well as infectious disease, blood diseases and cancer. There are many studies on the use of the individual cell lines as well a combination therapies. As the extract is taken from a patient’s own tissue there is no danger of rejection or allergic reaction.
How is ACT Performed?
For the patient, ACT is as simple as a blood draw followed by an IV infusion given hours or several days later. In the lab, the blood is spun down and separated and a specific selection of cells is extracted. This extract can contain hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, dendritic cells, lymphocytes (T cells, B cells, NK cells) monocytes as well as a range of growth factors. The extract can be incubated and expanded in the lab, although this is not always necessary. Through specialized laboratory processes it is possible to select the components of the ACT. For example, it may be beneficial to include a larger number of hematopoietic stem cells in the extract, whereas for other patients the use of blood stem cell may not be desired. Also, some patients may benefit from a higher number of dendritic cells. In most cases, a specific selection is unnecessary. The ACT is re-administered as an IV infusion lasting a few minutes.