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Scand J Immunol. 2003 Nov;58(5):578-86.

A protocol for generation of clinical grade mRNA-transfected monocyte-derived dendritic cells for cancer vaccines.

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Laboratory for Cellular Therapy, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


With the aim of producing large quantities of mRNA-transfected monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) to be used as cancer vaccines, a new clinical grade procedure has been developed. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained by leukapheresis were enriched for monocytes by immunomagnetic depletion of CD19+ B cells and CD2+ T cells employing the ISOLEX 300i device. After 5 days of culture of enriched monocytes in gas permeable Teflon bags, using serum-free medium supplemented with granulocyte/macrophage-colony stimulating factor and interleukin-4 (IL-4), immature DCs were generated. Following transfection with mRNA from three human prostate cancer cell lines (DU145, LNCaP and PC-3), employing a newly developed square wave electroporation procedure, the immature DCs were immediately transferred to Teflon bags and matured for 48 h, using serum-free medium supplemented with IL-1alpha, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and PGE2. The electroporation procedure efficiently transferred mRNA into the DCs with minor effect on the viability of the cells. The generated matured transfected DCs show high expression of the antigens CD83, CD80, CD86 and human leucocyte antigen-DR. Freezing and thawing of the transfected matured DCs had minor effect on cell viability and the phenotype. From 4 x 109 PBMCs, about 1 x 108 transfected matured DCs are produced. The thawed transfected DCs were able to elicit primary T-cell responses in vitro against antigens encoded by the prostate cancer mRNA as shown by enzyme-linked immunospot assay using mock-transfected DCs as control. Based on these results, clinical trials in cancer patients have been initiated.

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