Therapeutic dendritic cell-based cancer vaccines: the state of art

M.M. Strioga, T. Felzmann, D.J. Powell, V. Ostapenko, N.T. Dobrovolskiene, M. Matuskova, J. Michalek, V.E.J.C. Schijns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent professional antigen-presenting cells, capable of initiating proper adaptive immune responses. Although tumor-infiltrating DCs are able to recognize cancer cells and uptake tumor antigens, they often have impaired functions because of the immunosuppressive tumor milieu. Therefore, DCs are targeted by therapeutic means either in vivo or ex vivo to facilitate tumor antigen presentation to T cells and induce or promote efficient antitumor immune responses in cancer patients. This immunotherapeutical approach is defined as specific active tumor immunotherapy or therapeutic cancer vaccination. In this review we briefly discuss general aspects of DC biology, followed by a thorough description of the current knowledge and optimization trends of DC vaccine production ex vivo, including various approaches for the induction of proper DC maturation and efficient loading with tumor antigens. We also discuss critical clinical aspects of DC vaccine application in cancer patients, including protocols of administration (routes and regimens), individualization of tumor immunotherapy, prediction and proper evaluation of immune and clinical responses to immunotherapy, and the critical role of combining tumor immunotherapy with other cancer treatment strategies to achieve maximal therapeutic effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-547
JournalCritical Reviews in Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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