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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Mar;87(3):1098-104.

Stimulation of autologous antitumor T-cell responses against medullary thyroid carcinoma using tumor lysate-pulsed dendritic cells.

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Department of Surgery, University of Vienna Medical School, Vienna, Austria 1090.


Dendritic cells (DCs) have attracted wide interest because of their unique capacity to elicit primary and secondary antitumor responses. We have generated autologous tumor lysate-pulsed DCs from three patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and tested them for their ability to stimulate cytotoxic T-cell responses against autologous MTC tumor cells in vitro. The aim of our investigations was to evaluate the potential efficacy of DC-based immunotherapy in patients with MTC. DCs were generated from peripheral blood monocytes using GM-CSF and IL-4 (immature DCs) or GM-CSF, IL-4, and TNFalpha (mature DCs). Our results indicate that mature tumor lysate-pulsed DCs are able to elicit a human leukocyte antigen class I-restricted cytotoxic T-cell response against autologous MTC tumor cells, whereas immature tumor lysate-pulsed DCs do not stimulate significant antitumor activity. We feel that our data may be relevant for future clinical trials of active immunotherapy using tumor lysate-pulsed DCs in patients with MTC who have residual or distant disease after surgical treatment. The fact that mature DCs displayed a substantially higher capacity to stimulate autologous antitumor T-cell responses than immature DCs underlines the importance of a maturation step in immunotherapy protocols based on DCs.

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