Immunotherapy of cancer with dendritic-cell-based vaccines

Eli Gilboa, Smita K. Nair, H. Kim Lyerly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Animal studies have shown that vaccinat on with genetically modified tumor cells or with dendritic cells (DC) pulsed with tumor antigens are potent strategies to elicit protective immunity in tumor-bearing animals, more potent than 'conventional' strategies that have been tested in clinical settings with limited success. While both vaccination strategies are forms of cell therapy requiring complex and costly ex vivo manipulations of the patient's cells, current protocols using dendritic cells are considerably simpler and would be more widely available. Vaccination with defined tumor antigens presented by DC has obvious appeal. However, in view of the expected emergence of antigen-loss variants as well as natural immunovariation, effective vaccine formulations must contain mixtures of commonly, if not universally, expressed tumor antigens. When, or even if, such common tumor antigens will be identified cannot be, predicted, however. Thus, for the foreseeable future, vaccination with total-tumor-derived material as source of tumor antigens may be preferable to using defined tumor antigens. Vaccination with undefined tumor-derived antigens will be limited, however, by the availability of sufficient tumor tissue for antigen preparation. Because the mRNA content of single cells can be amplified, tumor mRNA, or corresponding eDNA libraries, offer an unlimited source of tumor antigens. DC transfected with tumor RNA were shown to engender potent antitumor immunity in animal studies. Thus, immunotherapy using autologous DC loaded with unfractionated tumor-derived antigens in the form of RNA emerges as a potentially powerful and broadly useful vaccination strategy for cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Immunology Immunotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendritic cells
  • Immunotherapy
  • Tumor antigens
  • Tumor mRNA
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunotherapy of cancer with dendritic-cell-based vaccines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this