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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Volume 382, Issue 4 (Apr 2001)


Dendritic Cells for Specific Cancer Immunotherapy

Norbert Meidenbauer / Reinhard Andreesen / Andreas Mackensen
Published Online: 2005-06-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2001.065


The characterization of tumorassociated antigens recognized by human T lymphocytes in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)restricted fashion has opened new possibilities for immunotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of human cancers. Dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen presenting cells that are well suited to activate T cells toward various antigens, such as tumorassociated antigens, due to their potent costimulatory activity. The availability of large numbers of DC, generated either from hematopoietic progenitor cells or monocytes in vitro or isolated from peripheral blood, has profoundly changed preclinical research as well as the clinical evaluation of these cells. Accordingly, appropriately pulsed or transfected DC may be used for vaccination in the field of infectious diseases or tumor immunotherapy to induce antigenspecific T cell responses. These observations led to pilot clinical trials of DC vaccination for patients with cancer in order to investigate the feasibility, safety, as well as the immunologic and clinical effects of this approach. Initial clinical studies of human DC vaccines are generating encouraging preliminary results demonstrating induction of tumorspecific immune responses and tumor regression. Nevertheless, much work is still needed to address several variables that are critical for optimizing this approach and to determine the role of DCbased vaccines in tumor immunotherapy.

About the article

Published Online: 2005-06-01

Published in Print: 2001-04-27

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2001.065. Export Citation

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