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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2009 Dec;58(12):1935-9. doi: 10.1007/s00262-008-0636-9. Epub 2008 Dec 13.

Mechanisms of murine dendritic cell antitumor dysfunction in aging.

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Divisions of Geriatric Medicine and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0940, USA.


Effective cancer immunotherapy depends on the body's ability to generate tumor antigen-presenting cells and tumor-reactive effector lymphocytes. As the most potent antigen presenting cells (APCs), dendritic cells (DCs) are capable of sensitizing T cells to new and recall antigens. Clinical trials of antigen-pulsed autologous DCs have been conducted in patients with a number of hematological and solid cancers, including malignant melanoma, lymphoma, myeloma, and non-small cell lung cancer. These studies suggest that antigen-loaded DC vaccination is a potentially safe and effective cancer therapy. However, the clinical results have been variable. Since the elderly are preferentially affected by diseases targeted by DC-directed immunotherapy, it is quite striking that few studies to date have focused on the effect of aging on DC function, a key aspect of optimal immunotherapy design in an aging population. In the present paper, we will discuss the consequences of aging on murine bone marrow-derived DC function and their use in cancer immunotherapy.

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