Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 1999 Jul;8(7):1007-16.

Therapeutic potential of dendritic-based vaccines.

Author information

  • 1Immunotherapeutics Division, Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. 120 Northgate Plaza, Suite 219, Seattle, WA 98125, USA.


Involving a delicate balance of cell types, the interaction between the immune system and disease or abnormality in the human body is complex. Moreover, the mere presence of antigen and immune cells is necessary, yet insufficient to elicit immune reactivity. In order to elicit an immune response, an antigen in some form must be processed and presented to the immune system. Arguably, the most efficient antigen-presenting cell, the dendritic cell (DC), is the centre of intense investigation. The elicitation or cessation of an immune response is not a simple matter. The body must be able either to up-regulate (e.g., in the case of infectious disease) or down-regulate (e.g., in the case of transplantation) immunity to antigens located anywhere in the body. This sentinel role is capably filled via the distribution of Langerhans cells in the epidermis of the skin, and the migration of DCs throughout the lymphatic and circulatory systems. DCs are potent, as well as efficient: small numbers of cells and low levels of antigen still induce clinically relevant immunity. Lastly, they are capable of tolerance induction to self components by helping to delete self-reactive thymocytes and generating anergy in committed T-cells. Since DCs both initiate and modulate immunity, they are a component of a vast array of vaccines. This review highlights some of the intriguing basic research involving the development of DC-based therapeutics. Furthermore, whenever an area of study has progressed to human treatment, recent and on-going clinical trials are discussed.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk