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Vaccine. 2007 Mar 30;25(14):2610-9. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Generation and functional assessment of antigen-specific T cells stimulated by fusions of dendritic cells and allogeneic breast cancer cells.

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  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


We have reported that fusions of patient-derived dendritic cells (DC) and autologous breast cancer cells induce T-cell responses against autologous tumors. However, the preparation of fusion cells requires patient-derived tumor cells, and these are not always available in the clinical setting. In the present study, we explore an alternative approach to constructing DC-breast cancer fusion vaccine by using breast cancer-cell lines. DC generated from HLA-A*0201-positive donor were fused to HLA-A*0201+ allogeneic MCF7 breast cancer cells. These fusion cells co-expressed tumor-associated antigens and DC-derived costimulatory and MHC molecules. Both CD4 and CD8 T cells were activated by the fusion cells as demonstrated by the production of IFN-gamma. The fusion cells induced strong antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) activity against their parent cells. The lysis of targets was restricted by HLA-A*0201, since killing was blocked by the anti-HLA-A2 mAb. Similar CTL activity against HLA-A*0201-positive targets was induced when T cells were cocultured with fusions of DC and HLA-A*0201-negative allogeneic BT20 breast cancer cells. In addition, administration of T cells stimulated by DC-breast cancer fusion cells regressed 7-day-old tumors and rendered mice free of disease up to 90 days. These results suggest that tumor-cell lines can be used as a fusion partner in the construction of DC-tumor fusion vaccine. Such fusion cells hold promise since they can be used as a vaccine for active immunotherapy or as stimulators to activate and expand T cells for adoptive immunotherapy.

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