The treatment involves transfusing specific white blood cells, called granulocytes, from select donors into patients.
Granulocytes are the most abundant type of white blood cells and can account for as much as 60 percent of total circulating white blood cells in healthy humans. Donors can give granulocytes specifically without losing other components of blood through a process called apheresis.
10 volunteers ages 25 and under are chosen to donate the cancer-killing granulocytes for the treatment.
Volunteers who are selected as donors – based on the observed potential cancer-fighting activity of their white cells – will complete the apheresis, a two- to three-hour process similar to platelet donation, to collect their granulocytes. The cancer patients will then receive the granulocytes through a transfusion – a safe process that has been used for more than 30 years, and also a direct injection into the affected tissue. The treatment is given for three consecutive days on an outpatient basis.
The patient is given a two-day break, and the treatment continues for two additional days with the exact same procedure as the first three days.
Donors are always tested for communicable diseases prior to apheresis.