Purpose: Thus far, dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy of cancer was primarily based on in vitro-generated monocytederived DCs, which require extensive in vitro manipulation. Here, we report on a clinical study exploiting primary CD1c+ myeloid DCs, naturally circulating in the blood. Experimental Design: Fourteen stage IV melanoma patients, without previous systemic treatment for metastatic disease, received autologous CD1c+ myeloid DCs, activated by only brief (16 hours) ex vivo culture and loaded with tumor-associated antigens of tyrosinase and gp100. Results: Our results show that therapeutic vaccination against melanoma with small amounts (3-10 × 106) of myeloid DCs is feasible and without substantial toxicity. Four of 14 patients showed long-term progression-free survival (12-35 months), which directly correlated with the development of multifunctional CD8+ T-cell responses in three of these patients. In particular, high CD107a expression, indicative for cytolytic activity, and IFNγ as well as TNFα and CCL4 production was observed. Apparently, these T-cell responses are essential to induce tumor regression and promote long-term survival by stalling tumor growth. Conclusions: We show that vaccination of metastatic melanoma patients with primary myeloid DCs is feasible and safe and results in induction of effective antitumor immune responses that coincide with improved progression-free survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research