Yoshiyuki Aikawa, our Group's General Director,
has assumed the position of Assistant to President of
the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine.
The Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine was established in 2001 with the vision of "delivering safe and effective regenerative medicine rapidly to the people of Japan" and has since played a central role in the country's research on regenerative medicine. It will contribute to the development and spread of regenerative medicine.
Our "Accelerator + Brake" therapy
１：The traditional immunotherapy, which is only aimed at accelerating immune responses, is not able to make immune cells to attack cancer cells because cancer cells are able to put up barriers around them.
2：The "Accelerator + Brake" therapy, which uses an immune checkpoint inhibitor, dismantles those barriers around the cancer cells, putting the brakes on their activity.
3：The active immune cells which have been cultured and activated in our hospital will reach and directly attack the cancer cells that have lost their barriers.
4：The attacked cancer cells will shrink.
■Our original approach: Accelerator + Brake
The traditional immunotherapy, which focuses on the acceleration of the immune system, has proved unable to eliminate all cancer cells; even activated immune cells eventually succumb to cancer cells. Meanwhile, our original "Accelerator + Brake" immunotherapy approach is able to more effectively kill cancer cells because it not only enhances the acceleration of NK (Natural Killer) function but also puts the brakes on the activity of cancer cells.
What is immunotherapy?
A person has about 60 trillion cells. While many of them are replaced every day, about 5,000 cancer cells are thought to be produced even in a healthy body. Not everybody develops cancer, though, because those cancer cells are daily monitored and attacked by immune cells such as lymphocytes. Especially the ones called Natural Killer (NK) cells are the only immune cells that can directly attack cancer cells and hence have the most damaging power against them. In other words, it may be said that cancer patients get cancer because the activity of their NK cells is low. Cancer immunotherapy is a treatment that targets and fights against cancer by invigorating the activity of NK cells. It is also called adoptive immunotherapy using autologous activated lymphocytes.
The full-fledged clinical applications of immunotherapy in Japan started only 30 years ago, but our hospital's embryologists, the country's immunotherapy pioneers, have researched and developed the therapy over a long period of time at the Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo, Yokohama City University, Kanagawa Cancer Center, Yokohama Tsurugamine Hospital, etc. At our hospital, we have provided various types of immunotherapy or vaccine therapy including dendritic cell therapy for cancer patients, and are finding that the immunotherapy activating NK cells has been the most effective with few adverse reactions: the overall response rate among more than 1,000 patients by the end of last year was as high as 51%, which is higher than that of any treatments using an anticancer drug. In recent years a new promising class of immunotherapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors was developed. Those inhibitors, anti-PD-1 antibody and anti-CTLA-4 antibody, attack cancer's self-defense mechanism and thus contribute to enhancing the patient's immune system. We are also developing a new immunotherapy approach adding a treatment using an anti-PD-1 antibody to cancer immunotherapy.
Our original approach: Accelerator + Brake
Our original "Accelerator + Brake" approach treats cancer by firstly adding high-concentration IL-2 and some types of antibodies to lymphocytes in the blood collected from patients, culturing and activating those lymphocytes using a special technique and then returning them back in the body of the patients. The activated lymphocytes have an average NK purity of 65% (45-85%). Other cells are alpha and beta T cells which also attacks cancer cells. Five infusions are given every two weeks in one course of the treatment, which accelerates the function for killing cancer. Then follows the "brake" part of the "Accelerator + Brake" therapy, in which, after the administration of activated autologous lymphocytes, an anti-PD-1 antibody (and anti-CTLA-4 antibody) is administered for more effectively killing the cancer cells.
Cancer immunotherapy+Immune checkpoint inhibitors
Opdivo (nivolumab)Combination therapy
NKT cell therapy
One course 368,000yen(including tax)
Click here for information about a payment in installments.
NKT cell therapy alone
One course 158,000 yen(including tax)
One course 210,000yen(including tax)
In addition to cancer immunotherapy, we offer treatment using immune checkpoint inhibitors. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (anti-PD-1 antibody and anti-CTLA-4 antibody) are not designed to directly attack and kill cancer cells but rather to inhibit the activity of cancer cells which try to stop the function of the immune system. In other words, those inhibitors are drugs that create a positive effect by multiplying a negative with a negative (minus x minus = plus).
By combining the treatment using an immune checkpoint inhibitor(s) with cancer immunotherapy in which lymphocytes are taken from a patient, cultured and activated and then given back in the body, we think complete cure of cancer is not impossible.
In the clinical studies conducted so far, very few cases have been reported concerning autoimmune disorder, the most feared adverse effect associated with the use of an anti-PD-1 or anti-CTLA-4 antibody. Those clinical studies noted some adverse reactions such as rash and diarrhea, but rash or similar reactions can be managed by use of steroid or other means.
We may witness a day when any sort of cancer becomes curable thanks to the two-pillar therapy combining immune checkpoint inhibitors with cancer immunotherapy.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors Anti-PD-1 antibody
One course(20mg) 210,000yen(including tax)
Click here for information about a payment in installments.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors（Anti-PD-1 antibody）
Time has come for curing cancer with immunotherapy.
Cancer cells kill NKT cells with PD-L1. Immune checkpoint inhibitors activate NKT cells by protecting PD-1 therein. Survival curves eventually drop to zero after use of anticancer drugs over a certain period of time. Survival curves of the cases where immune checkpoint inhibitors are used tend to move horizontally, suggesting a possibility that the use thereof may cure cancer.
In the clinical studies conducted so far, very few cases have been reported concerning autoimmune disorder, the most feared adverse effect associated with the use of an anti-PD-1 or anti-CTLA-4 antibody. Those clinical studies noted some adverse reactions such as rash and diarrhea, but rash or similar reactions can be managed by use of steroid or other means. We may witness a day when any sort of cancer becomes curable thanks to the two-pillar therapy combining immune checkpoint inhibitors with cancer immunotherapy.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors were approved in July 2014 as the drugs that enhance the cancer patient's immune system attacking the cancer cells in the body.
This is called anti-PD (programmed death)-1 antibody. Cancer cells attack and kill NKT cells using their PD system (PD-L1 and PD-L2 antibodies), but anti-PD-1 antibody inhibits the PD system and thus stops the cancer cells from attacking NKT cells. As a result, the activity of NKT cells is heightened, causing the elimination of cancer cells.
This treatment is called immunotherapy and it directly targets and attacks only cancer cells; other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy damage not only cancer cells but also normal cells.
Immunotherapy does not harm healthy cells and hence does not cause strong adverse reactions. Immunotherapy is a treatment that is milder to body than other types of therapy.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors About anti-PD-1 antibody
On the surface of CTL (cytotoxic T lymphocyte), when activated by recognition of cancer cells, a molecule called PD-1 is expressed. Meanwhile, cancer cells have a molecule called PD-L1 that suppresses the activity of CTL. The activity of CTL is stopped when the two molecules, PD-1 and PD-L1, bind to each other. Anti-PD-1 antibody inhibits binding of PD-1and PD-L1, activates CTL and thus kills cancer cells, while an anti-PD-L1 does the same by binding with PD-L1.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors Anti-CTLA-4 antibody
One course（10mg） 251,200yen(including tax)
Click here for information about a payment in installments.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors（Anti-CTLA-4 antibody）
Immunotherapy is drawing attention as the fourth therapy that follows the three most common treatments for cancer: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Our hospital offers two immunotherapy options: one is a cancer immunotherapy treatment in which lymphocytes (especially Natural Killer cells) collected from the blood of a patient are cultured, activated and given back in the body; the other is a treatment in which a drug called "immune checkpoint inhibitor" is used.
Cancer cells have a mechanism called "immune checkpoint", which weakens the activity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) that attack cancer cells. If the mechanism is inhibited, CTL regains its power to attack cancer cells. An immune checkpoint inhibitor is a drug that inhibits the immune checkpoint mechanism of cancer cells. With this drug, CTL can restore its innate ability to kill cancer cells.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors What is anti-CTLA-4 antibody?
When cancer cells are developed somewhere in the human body, the B7 molecules of dendritic cell bind with the CD28 molecules of CTL in lymph nodes, generating on the surface of CTL a protein receptor called CTLA-4 which activates CTL to kill the cancer cells.
When CTLA-4 binds with B7, however, CTL stops its attacks against cancer cells. An anti-CTLA-4 antibody inhibits CTLA-4 from binding with B7 and rather binds with CTLA-4 to activate CTL so it kills cancer cells.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors Anti-PD-1 antibody+Anti-CTLA-4 antibody
Opdivo (nivolumab)＋Yervoy (ipilimumab)Combination therapy
1回 461,200yen(including tax)
Click here for information about a payment in installments.
Anti-PD-1 antibody+Anti-CTLA-4 antibody Combination therapy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to the combination therapy of anti-PD-1 antibody and anti-CTLA-4 antibody for the treatment of certain types of melanoma; in a study with 142 patients, a significant superiority was observed for the combination use of anti-PD-1 antibody and anti-CTLA-4 antibody, with the overall response rate of the anti-PD-1 antibody+anti-CTLA-4 antibody group being 60% while that of the anti-CTLA-4 group 11%.
The median progression-free survival of the combination group was 8.9 months while that of the monotherapy group was 4.7 months.
Based on the data above, our hospital has started, ahead of the world, a combination therapy using anti-PD-1 antibody and anti-CTLA-4 antibody for the patients who don't get expected results from the anti-PD-1 antibody monotherapy.
Reason for the anti-PD-1 antibody+anti-CTLA-4 antibody combination
Anti-PD-1 antibody and anti-CTLA-4 antibody are immune checkpoint inhibitors that have different mechanisms of action. It has been long suggested that the combination use of those two drugs may favorably work against refractory cancer for which no standard lines of treatment work.
While anti-PD-1 antibody inhibits PD-1 and thus suppresses counterattacks from cancer cells, anti-CTLA-4 antibody inhibits a molecule called CTLA-4 that stops the function of immune cells and thus reinvigorates the immune system. The combination use of anti-PD-1 antibody with anti-CTLA-4 antibody,
therefore, enhances the "braking" effect of our "Accelerator + Brake" therapy in which an immune checkpoint inhibitor is administered in addition to the traditional cancer immunotherapy which gives an "acceleration" to the function of the immune system.
It is expected that cancer therapy will evolve along immunotherapy, and the "Accelerator + Brake" therapy will play a key role in the evolution. At our hospital, we are hoping to raise hopes for patients who fight against cancer by offering, ahead of the world, an "Accelerator + Brake" treatment, which is potentially the most beneficial of all treatments currently available. With this new approach, we are determined to change the cancer treatment paradigm. If you have a cancer problem, consider this completely new option, "Accelerator + Brake."
Adverse reactions during the therapy that require attention include: interstitial pneumonia, liver function disorder, hepatitis, thyroid deficiency, reactions associated with drug infusion.
Dry coughs, breath shortness, attack of fever, breathing difficulty
[Liver function disorder & Hepatitis]
Rash, nausea, jaundice, itching
[Peripheral nerve impairment]
Numbness in a limb
Swelling, anemia, nausea
[Reactions associated with drug infusion]
Breathing difficulty, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, rash
If you develop any symptom above, stop or suspend the treatment using Immune checkpoint inhibitors Opdivo (nivolumab),Yervoy (ipilimumab) until you recover from the symptom. Please consult with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if any symptom emerges.
Message from the
Yoshinobu Abe , M.D.
I have been working as an academia-accredited thoracic surgeon for 25 years. I performed many surgeries and treatments for patients with esophageal cancer or lung cancer. The sad fact is that none of the big 3 cancer treatment options --- surgery, chemotherapy and radiation --- was good enough for curing many of my patients; they were losing their energy and becoming skinny by the day and eventually passed away after days of infusions.
What can I do to improve their immune system function? Is it an impossible dream to have a clinic that can provide patients with a treatment that allows them to live with cancer, a treatment that improves their Quality of Life and see them smiling? What should I do so my patients can enjoy trips to spas or travels while undergoing a treatment? This hospital is giving answers to my hopes and ideals. We are here to spend as much time as you or we need to discuss your disease and turn your worries into hopes so you can leave here with a smile. Please consult with us if you have a cancer or other health problem.
|1990:||Graduated from Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University;Joined the 1st Surgery Dept. of Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University Hospital (Thoracic and cardiovascular surgery; general digestive surgery)|
|1994:||Graduated from the medical graduate school of Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University with the degree of Doctor of Medicine; Listed as an accredited thoracic surgeon (Esophageal, lung and cardiac surgeries)|
|1992-1994:||Learned at the Cardiac Surgery Dept. of Henri Mondor Hospital of University of Paris XII|
|1997:||Joined the Cardiovascular Surgery Dept. of National Hospital Organization Kanazawa Medical Center|
|2004-2011:||Worked as Councilor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Medical Attaché at Japanese embassies in Pakistan, Turkey and Myanmar|
|2012:||Director of Shinjuku Vascular Surgery Clinic|
|2015:||Director of Shonan Medical Clinic Shinjuku ClinicAdvisory Doctor for co-medical Inc.|
About our hospital
- Shonan Medical Clinic Shinjuku Hospital
- Nishi-Shinjuku Daikyo Build. 7F, Nishi-Shinjuku 7-21-3, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0023
See this in a larger map.
Directions to our hospital
|Exit the gate and find Exit 1 on your left. Get on the escalator to the ground.|
|Get off the escalator and go left along the avenue in front of you, into the direction where you can see the signs of Sugi Pharmacy and TULLY'S COFFEE.|
|An about two-minute walk will take you to Seven Eleven on your left. We are on the 7th floor of the building.|
|Here you will find the entrance to the building.|
|Exit the gate and go straight to Exit A7.|
|Get on the escalator at Exit A7.|
|From Exit A7, go into the direction of Nishi-Shinjuku Station of Marunouchi Line, toward its Exit E5.|
|Get off the escalator at the end and go left.|
|Turn right at the end and go up the stairs.|
|From the end of the stairs, go left.|
|Go to the end and then, when you find a black pole, turn right.|
|Go along the road toward the direction of Nishi-Shinjuku Station of Marunouchi Line.|
|Keep going toward the direction.|
|Go up to the ground from Exit E5.|
|Once getting on the ground, cross the crosswalk (which has no traffic light) on the left side of the road. Then, go left.|
|You will reach an avenue (Ome Kaido). Pass the traffic light and turn right.|
|You will see Yoshinoya and Seitetsu Inn Shinjuku.|
"An about two-minute walk will take you to Seven Eleven on your left.
|Use the west (nishi) exit and turn right.|
|Go into the right direction and then ride the escalator to the 2nd floor.|
|You will find Odakyu HALC in front of you.|
|Go straight the sideway along Odakyu HALC.|
|You will find the L Tower on your left. Go ahead toward the Tower.|
|Turn right in front of the L Tower and go straight the sideway.|
|You will reach a crossover bridge. Go straight and turn left at the fork.|
|Go straight and descend using the stairs that go downward to the right.|
|You will find Family Mart in your left. Go straight along the road.|
|You will find Excelsior Café.|
|Go further and you will find Shinjuku Police Station.|
|Cross the intersection in front of the Police Station toward the right.|
|Then turn left.|
|Go straight and you will find Seven Eleven on your right side.|
|We are on the 7th floor of the Daikyo Building next to the Seven Eleven.|