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Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 1;16(21):5153-64. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0820. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

Orally administered particulate beta-glucan modulates tumor-capturing dendritic cells and improves antitumor T-cell responses in cancer.

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Tumor Immunobiology Program of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, USA.



The beneficial properties of β-glucans have been recognized for centuries. Their proposed mechanisms of action in cancer therapy occur via stimulation of macrophages and priming of innate neutrophil complement receptor 3 for eliciting complement receptor 3-dependent cellular cytotoxicity of iC3b-opsonized tumor cells. The current study is to investigate whether β-glucan therapy has any effect on antitumor adaptive T-cell responses.


We first examined the trafficking of orally administered particulate yeast-derived β-glucan and its interaction with dendritic cells (DC) that captured tumor materials. Antigen-specific T cells were adoptively transferred into recipient mice to determine whether oral β-glucan therapy induces augmented T-cell responses. Lewis lung carcinoma and RAM-S lymphoma models were used to test oral β-glucan therapeutic effect. Further mechanistic studies including tumor-infiltrating T cells and cytokine profiles within the tumor milieu were determined.


Orally administered particulate β-glucan trafficked into spleen and lymph nodes and activated DCs that captured dying tumor cells in vivo, leading to the expansion and activation of antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells. In addition, IFN-γ production of tumor-infiltrating T cells and CTL responses were significantly enhanced on β-glucan treatment, which ultimately resulted in significantly reduced tumor burden. Moreover, β-glucan-treated tumors had significantly more DC infiltration with the activated phenotype and significant levels of Th1-biased cytokines within the tumor microenvironment.


These data highlight the ability of yeast-derived β-glucan to bridge innate and adaptive antitumor immunity and suggest that it can be used as an adjuvant for tumor immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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