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Int J Cancer. 2005 Nov 20;117(4):587-95.

Induction of antigen-specific CD4- and CD8-mediated T-cell responses by fusions of autologous dendritic cells and metastatic colorectal cancer cells.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Human metastatic colorectal carcinomas (CRCAs) express carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and/or MUC1 tumor-associated antigens as potential targets for the induction of active specific immunity. In the present study, freshly isolated metastatic CRCA cells were successfully fused with immature autologous human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs). The created heterokaryons (DC/CRCA) coexpress the CRCA-derived CEA and MUC1 antigens and DC-derived MHC class II and costimulatory molecules. The fusion cells were functional in stimulating the proliferation of autologous T cells. In addition, both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were activated by fusion cells, as demonstrated by the production of high levels of IFN-gamma. More importantly, coculture of fusion cells with patient-derived peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) resulted in the induction of antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). CTLs were effective at lysis of not only autologous CRCA cells but also the CEA and/or MUC1-positive and HLA partially matched target cells. Antigen-specific CTL responses were confirmed by tetrameric analysis. Coculture of PBMCs with fusion cells resulted in increased frequency of CEA- and MUC1-specific CTLs simultaneously. Taken together, these results indicate that freshly isolated human metastatic CRCA cells expressing the CEA and/or MUC1 may represent a potential partner for the creation of DC/tumor fusion cells targeting induction of antigen-specific CTL responses. Our report demonstrates the simultaneous induction of CRCA-specific CTL responses restricted by HLA-A2 and -A24.

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