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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2003 May-Jun;14(4):156-62.

Dendritic cell vaccination: new hope for the treatment of metastasized endocrine malignancies.

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Department of Endocrinology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells that are involved in the induction of primary immune responses. The unique ability of DCs to activate naive and memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells suggests that they could be used for the induction of a specific antitumour immunity. In the past few years, several in vitro and in vivo studies in rodents and humans have demonstrated that immunizations with DCs pulsed with tumour antigens result in protective immunity and rejection of established tumours in various malignancies. Here, we focus on recent results of how DCs regulate immune responses that are important for generating antitumour cytotoxic T cells, and summarize clinical vaccination trials for the treatment of endocrine and nonendocrine carcinomas. Preliminary results suggest that DC vaccines might be novel tools for antitumour immunotherapies to treat chemotherapy-resistant and radioresistant endocrine cancers, such as metastasized medullary thyroid carcinomas and other neuroendocrine carcinomas.

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