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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2008 Jul;57(7):1039-51.

Phase I/II study of treatment with matured dendritic cells with or without low dose IL-2 in patients with disseminated melanoma.

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Oncology and Immunology Unit, Room 443, David Maddison Clinical Sciences Building, Cnr. King & Watt Streets, Newcastle, NSW 2300, Australia.



In the present study, we have examined whether treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma with matured dendritic cell (DC) vaccines with or without low dose IL-2 may improve treatment outcomes.


Sixteen patients received DC vaccines (DCs) sensitized with autologous melanoma lysates and 18 patients received DCs sensitized with peptides from gp100, MART-1, tyrosinase, MAGE-3.A2, MAGE-A10 and NA17. IL-2 was given subcutaneously (sc) at 1 MU/m2 on the second day after each injection for 5-14 days in half of each group. DCs were given by intranodal injection.


There were 2 partial responses (PR) and 3 with stable disease (SD) in the nine patients receiving DCs + peptides + IL-2, and 1 PR and 1 SD in nine patients treated with DCs + peptides without IL-2. There were only two patients with SD in the group receiving DCs + autologous lysates and no IL-2. Median overall survival for all patients was very good at 18.5 months but this was most probably due to selection of a favourable group of patients for the study. There was no significant difference in survival between the groups by log rank analysis. Treatment was not associated with significant side effects. The quality and yield of the DCs in the preparations were generally good.


We conclude that mature DC preparations may be superior to immature DC preparations for presentation of melanoma peptides and that IL-2 may increase clinical responses to the DCs plus peptides. However, in our view the low response rates do not justify the cost and complexity of this treatment approach.

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