Immunotherapy by autologous dendritic cell vaccine in patients with advanced HCC

  • Mervat El Ansary
  • Sherif Mogawer
  • Samah Abd ElhamidEmail author
  • Sahr Alwakil
  • Fatma Aboelkasem
  • Hatem El Sabaawy
  • Olfat Abdelhalim
Original Paper



Dendritic cells (DCs) could be used as potential cellular adjuvant for the production of specific tumor vaccines.


Our study was aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of autologous pulsed DC vaccine in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in comparison with supportive treatment.


Thirty patients with advanced HCC not suitable for radical or loco-regional therapies were enrolled. Patients were divided into 2 groups, group I consisted of 15 patients received I.D vaccination with mature autologous DCs pulsed ex vivo with a liver tumor cell line lysate. Group II (control group, no. 15) received supportive treatment. One hundred and 4 ml of venous blood were obtained from each patient to generate DCs. DCs were identified by CD80, CD83, CD86 and HLA-DR expressions using flow cytometry. Follow up at 3, and 6 months post injection by clinical, radiological and laboratory assessment was done.


Improvement in overall survival was observed. Partial radiological response was obtained in 2 patients (13.3 %), stable course in 9 patients (60 %) and 4 patients (26.7 %) showed progressive disease (died at 4 months post-injection). Both CD8+ T cells and serum interferon gamma were elevated after DCs injection.


Autologous DC vaccination in advanced HCC patients is safe and well tolerate.


DCs HCC Adjuvant immunotherapy 



Alfa feto protein


Bone marrow


Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte


Dendritic cells


Hepatocellular carcinoma




Iterferon gamma


Transarterial chemoembolization


Tumor-specific antigens



This study was supported in part by grants from Kasr Al-Aini Hospital. We also thank El-Ansary private laboratories and our patients for their willing participation in our research.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mervat El Ansary
    • 1
  • Sherif Mogawer
    • 2
  • Samah Abd Elhamid
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sahr Alwakil
    • 3
  • Fatma Aboelkasem
    • 4
  • Hatem El Sabaawy
    • 1
  • Olfat Abdelhalim
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pathology, Kasr Al-AiniCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Kasr Al-AiniCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine, Kasr Al-AiniCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Department of Medical Oncology, NCICairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  5. 5.Department of Hepatology and GastroenterologyAl-Salam International HospitalCairoEgypt

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