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Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Sep 1;17(17):5725-35. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1261. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Route of administration modulates the induction of dendritic cell vaccine-induced antigen-specific T cells in advanced melanoma patients.

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Department of Medical Oncology,Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, and Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



It is unknown whether the route of administration influences dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy. We compared the effect of intradermal versus intranodal administration of a DC vaccine on induction of immunologic responses in melanoma patients and examined whether concomitant administration of interleukin (IL)-2 increases the efficacy of the DC vaccine.


HLA-A2.1(+) melanoma patients scheduled for regional lymph node dissection were vaccinated four times biweekly via intradermal or intranodal injection with 12 × 10⁶ to 17 × 10⁶ mature DCs loaded with tyrosinase and gp100 peptides together with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). Half of the patients also received low-dose IL-2 (9 MIU daily for 7 days starting 3 days after each vaccination). KLH-specific B- and T-cell responses were monitored in blood. gp100- and tyrosinase-specific T-cell responses were monitored in blood by tetramer analysis and in biopsies from delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin tests by tetramer and functional analyses with (51)Cr release assays or IFNγ release, following coculture with peptide-pulsed T2 cells or gp100- or tyrosinase-expressing tumor cells.


In 19 of 43 vaccinated patients, functional tumor antigen-specific T cells could be detected. Although significantly more DCs migrated to adjacent lymph nodes upon intranodal vaccination, this was also highly variable with a complete absence of migration in 7 of 24 intranodally vaccinated patients. Intradermal vaccinations proved superior in inducing functional tumor antigen-specific T cells. Coadministration of IL-2 did not further augment the antigen-specific T-cell response but did result in higher regulatory T-cell frequencies.


Intradermal vaccination resulted in superior antitumor T-cell induction when compared with intranodal vaccination. No advantage of additional IL-2 treatment could be shown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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