Dr. Thomas Wagner began studying cancer and potential treatments in 1963.
From the 1970s through the early 1990s, Dr. Wagner pursued gene therapy as a form of treatment, understanding that cancer is the result of mutations in certain genes.
Attempting to correct every gene and cancer cell is a potentially infinitesimal work. However, genetic research led him to the realization that cancer begins in the human body as often as ten times per day, yet is usually defeated at an early stage by the body itself.
Dr. Wagner began to explore immunotherapy, hoping to tap into the body’s cancer-fighting mechanism. He developed a treatment at the at the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute, in Greenville, SC, which could be personalized by taking lysate from a patient’s own tumor, fusing a tumor cell and a dendritic cell, then reintroducing the fused cells into the patient’s body.
Since dendritic cells see a foreign body and decide if it should be tolerated or destroyed, it was necessary to find a way to force the dendritic cell identify the tumor as foreign.
Over a period of 10 years, Dr. Wagner oversaw several U.S. FDA Phase I and II trials. However this was not a solution that could be produced on a large enough scale to become a viable treatment for more than a handful of people.
Dr. Wagner then retired from the hospital system in order to pursue a treatment that could be created on a large scale while remaining economically feasible. He began loading the lysate inside the particle and the particle inside the dendritic cell. Thus what would become the Perseus PCI vaccine was born in 2009.
Dr. Wagner continued working on making the vaccine more patient- and doctor-friendly. The particles are now inserted directly into the patient, minimizing side effects.
While Perseus continues pursuing FDA approval in the United States, we wanted to offer treatment to those who could travel. In order to offer this treatment, Perseus decided to go offshore. In 2011 Perseus PCI was designed to offer a credible cancer treatment to people who had solid tumor cancers.
Countries were interviewed to host the facility. Perseus wanted a location with high medical and ethical standards that was English-speaking and easily accessible from the US.
In 2012, we met Dr. Sook Yin, a local Grand Cayman physician and created our facility in the Cayman Islands. The treatment facility far exceeds FDA standards and is in the same building as the US Consulate. In February 2013 the Cayman Islands Health Policy Council (Cayman version of the FDA) approved Perseus to treat any solid tumor cancer. Our first patient was treated on March 2013.
Research continues to enable each version of the Perseus PCI vaccine to provide more effective treatment, at a lower cost, to as many people as possible.
We hope you will be part of the helpful, hopeful story of Perseus.