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Adv Otorhinolaryngol. 2005;62:173-83.

Antitumor immunization of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients with a virus-modified autologous tumor cell vaccine.

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  • 1Molecular Cell Biology Group, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Saarbr├╝cken, Germany.



Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) are aggressive tumors with poor 5-year survival rates, thus demanding new treatment concepts.


In a nonrandomized study, 20 HNSCC patients were preconditioned with interleukin (IL) 2 and subsequently vaccinated with virus-modified autologous tumor cells prepared from short-term tumor cultures. Antitumor reactivity was determined by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin reaction.


Preconditioning of tumor patients with IL-2 prior to vaccination was associated with an increased number of T cells especially after a radiation-induced marked decrease, and levels of mitogen stimulation capacity were almost as high as before surgery. MHC class I molecules expressing autologous tumor cell cultures were successfully infected. Vaccination with virus-modified tumor cells was able to increase systemic antitumor reactivity as revealed by augmentation of DTH reactivity to unmodified tumor cells.


We provide evidence that a combination of preconditioning of HNSCC patients with IL-2 to improve their immune competence with subsequent vaccination with virus-modified autologous tumor cells leads to augmented antitumor DTH reactivity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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