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Head Neck. 2003 Mar;25(3):198-209.

Generation of vaccine-primed lymphocytes for the treatment of head and neck cancer.

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  • 1Division of Surgical Oncology, 3302 Cancer Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.



This study was performed to assess the ability of autologous tumor vaccines to induce T-cell reactivity to squamous cell cancers (SCC).


Irradiated autologous tumor cells admixed with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) were given intradermally in patients with advanced head and neck cancers. Vaccine-primed lymph node (VPLN) cells were secondarily activated with anti-CD3 mAb and expanded in IL-2 for adoptive immunotherapy. A mean (+/- SEM) of 2 (+/-0.6) x 10(10) anti-CD3-activated cells were administered in conjunction with IL-2 in six patients.


Anti-CD3-activated VPLN cells secreted IFN-gamma and GM-CSF in response to autologous tumor cells but not to allogeneic tumor cells in four of five patients analyzed. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) tumor reactive cells were present in the VPLN. There were no significant tumor responses after transfer of the anti-CD3-activated VPLN. In separate experiments, costimulation of VPLN cells with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 mAb resulted in enhanced cytokine secretion to autologous tumor compared with anti-CD3 activation alone.


Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) responses can be induced to SCC by autologous tumor vaccination. However, additional approaches need to be identified to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of this approach.

Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 25: 198-209, 2003

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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