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Cell Immunol. 2002 Nov;220(1):1-12.

Therapeutic immune response induced by electrofusion of dendritic and tumor cells.

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Center for Surgery Research-FF50, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


To elicit a therapeutic antitumor immune response, dendritic cells (DCs) have been employed as a cellular adjuvant. Among various DC-based approaches, fusion of DCs and tumor cells potentially confers not only DC functionality, but also a continuous source of unaltered tumor antigens. We have recently demonstrated successful generation of fusion hybrids by a large-scale electrofusion technique. The immunogenicity and therapeutic potential of fusion hybrids were further analyzed in a model system of a murine melanoma cell line expressing beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) as a surrogate tumor antigen. A single vaccination with fusion hybrids plus IL-12 induced a therapeutic immune response against 3-day established pulmonary metastases. This immunotherapy was beta-gal specific and involved both CD4 and CD8 T cells. In vitro, fusion hybrids stimulated specific IFN-gamma secretion from both CD4 and CD8 immune T cells. They also nonspecifically induced IL-10 secretion from CD4 but not CD8 T cells. Compared to other DC loadings, our results demonstrate the superior immunogenicity of fusion. The current technique of electrofusion is adequately developed for clinical use in cancer immunotherapy.

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