Current approaches in dendritic cell generation and future implications for cancer immunotherapy
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- Tuyaerts, S., Aerts, J.L., Corthals, J. et al. Cancer Immunol Immunother (2007) 56: 1513. doi:10.1007/s00262-007-0334-z
The discovery of tumor-associated antigens, which are either selectively or preferentially expressed by tumors, together with an improved insight in dendritic cell biology illustrating their key function in the immune system, have provided a rationale to initiate dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy trials. Nevertheless, dendritic cell vaccination is in an early stage, as methods for preparing tumor antigen presenting dendritic cells and improving their immunostimulatory function are continuously being optimized. In addition, recent improvements in immunomonitoring have emphasized the need for careful design of this part of the trials. Still, valuable proofs-of-principle have been obtained, which favor the use of dendritic cells in subsequent, more standardized clinical trials. Here, we review the recent developments in clinical DC generation, antigen loading methods and immunomonitoring approaches for DC-based trials.