Cancer Killer Cancer vaccine pioneer Dr Minako Abe ’88 talks to Claire Lonergan about her cutting edge work on immunotherapy
“I had one patient who was diagnosed with cervical cancer after finding out that she was pregnant,” says Minako Abe ’88. “She was advised to undergo surgery or chemotherapy but as that would have likely ended her pregnancy, she opted to try our immunotherapy, which has minimal to no side effects. Not only did she deliver a healthy baby, but when she was re-evaluated her cancer was completely in remission without need for any further therapy.” This incredible success story is just one of many for Dr Minako Abe ’88, CEO of ImmunoGenex, who is using breakthrough cellular immunotherapy cancer vaccines to treat patients at the Tokyo Cancer Clinic. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology “immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body's natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function.” While immunotherapy is now a growing area of research, the cellular cancer vaccines that Minako and her father Hiroyuki Abe (AP ’77-’88) produce are unique. In fact, this type of immunotherapy is still in the clinical trial phase in most other parts of the world, meaning that what Minako is doing here in Tokyo is revolutionary.
THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN JAPAN