Immunotherapy with autologous, human dendritic cells transfected with carcinoembryonic antigen mRNA

Michael A. Morse, Smita K. Nair, Paul J. Mosca, Amy C. Hobeika, Timothy M. Clay, Yuping Deng, David Boczkowski, Alan Proia, Donna Neidzwiecki, Pierre A. Clavien, Herbert I. Hurwitz, Jeffrey Schlom, Eli Gilboa, H. Kim Lyerly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Immunizations with dendritic cells (DC) transfected with RNA encoding tumor antigens induce potent tumor antigen-specific immune responses in vitro and in murine models. We performed a phase I study of patients with advanced carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-expressing malignancies followed by a phase II study of patients with resected hepatic metastases of colon cancer to assess safety and feasibility of administering autologous DC loaded with CEA mRNA. The immunizations were well tolerated. Of the 24 evaluable patients in the dose-escalation phase, there was 1 complete response (by tumor marker), 2 minor responses, 3 with stable disease, and 18 with progressive disease. In the phase II study, 9 of 13 patients have relapsed at a median of 122 days. Evidence of an immunologic response was demonstrated in biopsies of DC injection sites and peripheral blood of selected patients. We conclude that it is feasible and safe to administer mRNA-loaded DC to patients with advanced malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • CEA
  • Dendritic cells
  • Hepatic metastases
  • Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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