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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2003 Nov;52(11):699-707. Epub 2003 Jul 15.

Cytotoxic effector cells with antitumor activity can be amplified ex vivo from biopsies or blood of patients with renal cell carcinoma for cell therapy use.

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  • 1UPRES 2261, Faculté de Médecine de Rennes, 2 Avenue du Professeur Léon Bernard, 35043 Rennes, France.


Adoptive immunotherapy with antitumor effector cells is an attractive therapeutic approach in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The aim of the work was to enhance in vitro activation of lymphocytes with optimal cytotoxic activity against tumor cells. We evaluated a procedure based on the use of dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with irradiated tumor cells (DC-Tu) to stimulate lymphocytes. Experimental conditions were established with cells from healthy donors and melanoma cell lines. Procedures were then applied to cells from RCC patients. A total of 30 tumor biopsies, 14 proximal lymph nodes, and 17 peripheral blood samples from 30 patients were used. When lymphocytes were stimulated in vitro with DC-Tu, they responded to tumor cells with an increased cytolytic activity for all the assays with donor cells (n=18). For RCC patients, DC-Tu stimulation improved the final cytotoxic activity in only half of the assays (16/31). When significantly enhanced (>10%, n=8), responder cells resulted in a final 43% cytotoxicity against autologous RCC cells. Mechanism of lysis was at least in part class I mediated. Effector cells have no lytic activity against normal renal cells. Percentage of cells with regulatory T-cell phenotype was not found to be enhanced in the DC-Tu stimulated lymphocytes. Individual differences were observed in the characteristics of DCs generated from RCC patients in contrast to that observed in donors and could explain why lymphocyte stimulation was not improved by DC-Tu in half of the RCC assays. T-cell spreading was suitable for a therapeutic use (>10(9) cells) irrespective of the procedure (with or without DC-Tu stimulation) or the tissular origin of lymphocytes from patients. Data show that precursors of selective antitumor effector cells are present in patients with RCC and can be amplified in vitro either with or without DC-Tu stimulation. One of these populations could be chosen for an adoptive transfer immunotherapy.

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