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Clin Immunol. 2006 Oct;121(1):74-80. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

Role of conventional treatments on circulating and monocyte-derived dendritic cells in colorectal cancer.

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Laboratory of Vascular Pharmacology, Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.


We investigated the effects of metastasis, surgery and chemotherapy on both circulating dendritic cells (DCs) and monocyte-derived-DCs (MoDCs) in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Metastatic or nonmetastatic CRC patients had significantly reduced DC subsets compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.001). These cells were significantly higher in metastatic than in nonmetastatic patients. MoDCs were significantly lower in metastatic than healthy and nonmetastatic subjects (p < 0.001). Surgically treated patients had nearly one-half circulating DC subsets compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.001) while no difference was found between unoperated and healthy subjects. MoDCs obtained from tumor-bearing were significantly higher than in operated subjects. In both cases, MoDCs were significantly lower than in healthy subjects (p < 0.001). Circulating DCs and MoDCs were significantly lower in CRC patients, with or without chemotherapy, compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.001). Compared to untreated, chemotherapy-treated patients had 30% fewer DC subsets and lower MoDCs. Characterization of circulating DC subsets and MoDCs may elucidate CRC patients' immune system status.

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