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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2006 Jan;55(1):63-7. Epub 2005 Oct 27.

Dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy targeting MUC-1.

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Department of Oncology, Hematology, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Medizinische Klinik, University of Tuebingen Medical Center, Otfried-Mueller-Str. 10, Tuebingen, 72076, Germany.


Vaccination therapy using dendritic cells (DC) as antigen presenting cells (APC) has shown significant promise in laboratory and animal studies as a potential treatment for malignant diseases. Pulsing of autologous DCs with tumor-associated antigens (TAA) is a method often used for antigen delivery and choice of suitable antigens plays an important role in designing an effective vaccine. We identified two HLA-A2 binding novel 9-mer peptides of the TAA MUC1, which is overexpressed on various hematological and epithelial malignancies. Cytotoxic T cells generated after pulsing DC with these peptides were able to induce lysis of tumor cells expressing MUC1 in an antigen-specific and HLA-restricted fashion. Within two clinical studies, we demonstrated that vaccination of patients with advanced cancer using DCs pulsed with MUC1 derived peptides is well tolerated without serious side effects and can induce immunological responses. Of 20 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, 6 patients showed regression of metastases with 3 objective responses (1 CR, 2 PR). Furthermore, we found that in patients responding to treatment T cell responses for antigens not used for treatment occurred suggesting that antigen spreading in vivo might be a possible mechanism of mediating antitumor effects. These results demonstrate that immunotherapy in patients with advanced malignancies using autologous DCs pulsed with MUC1 derived peptides can induce immunological and clinical responses. However, further clinical studies are needed to identify the most potent treatment regimen that can consistently mediate an antitumor immune response in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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