Local company pioneering new treatments for cancer

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SAN DIEGO -- OncoSec Medical is a company pioneering new treatments in the war on cancer and has just set up its headquarters in Sorrento Valley.

The 34,000 square foot facility includes labs where research is being done on cancer immunotherapy -- which stimulates the body's own immune system to fight cancer.

“Just like you can fight off a cold, you can fight off a cancer. Most of the time when you get cancer, it’s because your body has failed at doing this. What we’re doing is stimulating the immune system to re-learn how to fight the cancer," said Kristen Qattan, an oncologist at OncoSec.

OncoSec is working on clinical trials that deal mostly with skin cancers and a type of breast cancer.

Qattan said immunotherapies are already curing patients and she believes within a few years up to 60 percent of cancer treatments will be immunotherapies.

The treatments are also safer -- without the devastating side effects of chemotherapy.

“There are patients responding for a very long time and sometimes their cancer is never really returning. That’s kind of something that we’ve never seen before with a lot of these difficult cancers," said Qattan.

OncoSec started about four years ago and the company decided to consolidate offices in San Diego following robust growth last year.

“We’re able to attract people in San Diego that is difficult to do in other areas. It’s a great location to attract, recruit and attain really top talent in the oncology field," said OncoSec CFO Richard Slansky.