, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 453-468
Date: 17 Apr 2013

A Review of Dendritic Cell Therapy for Cancer: Progress and Challenges

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Dendritic cells are the professional antigen-presenting cells of the innate immune system with the potential to generate robust antigen-specific T cell immune responses. Immunotherapeutic strategies have attempted to monopolize on this ability of dendritic cells to deliver antigens as a means of therapeutic vaccination in individuals with advanced malignancies. Since the publication of the first clinical trial in melanoma patients in 1995, therapeutic dendritic cell cancer vaccines have been extensively studied in numerous phase I and II trials. While advances have been encountered (especially with prostate cancer), there are still considerable challenges that need to be addressed in future clinical trials. In this review, we describe the current methodology and highlight trials which have contributed to the development of dendritic cell vaccines. We then review strategies to optimize dendritic cell vaccines in order to improve antitumor responses in cancer patients.