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Br J Cancer. 2010 Jan 5;102(1):115-23. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605465. Epub 2009 Dec 8.

Pre-treatment with chemotherapy can enhance the antigenicity and immunogenicity of tumours by promoting adaptive immune responses.

Author information

1
Section of Oncology, Division of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, St George's University of London, London, UK. w.liu@sgul.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Some cancer patients are immuno-compromised, and it has been long felt that immune-intervention is not compatible with standard chemotherapies. However, increasing evidence suggests that standard chemotherapy drugs may stimulate beneficial changes in both the immune system and tumour.

METHODS:

We have assessed the expression of human leucocyte antigen class 1 (HLA1) on tumour cells before and after chemotherapy agents (cyclophosphamide, oxaliplatin or gemcitabine). In addition, we show that chemotherapy-stressed tumour cells may release cytokines that enhance the interactions between dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells into growth media.

RESULTS:

Here we report that some chemotherapy agents can increase HLA1 expression in tumour cells, even when expression is low. Increases were associated with killing by cytotoxic T cells, which were negated by HLA1-blockade. Furthermore, T-cell function, as indicated by increased proliferation, was enhanced as supernatants derived from tumours treated with chemotherapy augmented DC-maturation and function.

CONCLUSION:

There is evidence that a facet of immune surveillance can be restored by appropriate chemotherapy agents. Also, tumours exposed to some chemotherapy may secrete cytokines that can mature DCs, which ultimately enhances T-cell responses.

PMID:
19997099
PMCID:
PMC2813751
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bjc.6605465
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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