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Cancer Res. 2012 Apr 1;72(7):1853-64. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-1400.

Cancer stem cell vaccination confers significant antitumor immunity.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


Most studies of cancer stem cells (CSC) involve the inoculation of cells from human tumors into immunosuppressed mice, preventing an assessment on the immunologic interactions and effects of CSCs. In this study, we examined the vaccination effects produced by CSC-enriched populations from histologically distinct murine tumors after their inoculation into different syngeneic immunocompetent hosts. Enriched CSCs were immunogenic and more effective as an antigen source than unselected tumor cells in inducing protective antitumor immunity. Immune sera from CSC-vaccinated hosts contained high levels of IgG which bound to CSCs, resulting in CSC lysis in the presence of complement. CTLs generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells or splenocytes harvested from CSC-vaccinated hosts were capable of killing CSCs in vitro. Mechanistic investigations established that CSC-primed antibodies and T cells were capable of selective targeting CSCs and conferring antitumor immunity. Together, these proof-of-concept results provide a rationale for a new type of cancer immunotherapy based on the development of CSC vaccines that can specifically target CSCs.

©2012 AACR.

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