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Oncoimmunology. 2017 May 12;6(7):e1328341. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2017.1328341. eCollection 2017.

Trial watch: Dendritic cell-based anticancer immunotherapy.

Garg AD1, Vara Perez M1, Schaaf M1, Agostinis P1, Zitvogel L2,3,4,5, Kroemer G6,7,8,9,10,11,12, Galluzzi L6,13,14.

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Cell Death Research & Therapy (CDRT) Lab, Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, KU Leuven University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Villejuif, France.
INSERM, U1015, Villejuif, France.
Center of Clinical Investigations in Biotherapies of Cancer (CICBT) 1428, Villejuif, France.
Université Paris Sud/Paris XI, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.
Université Paris Descartes/Paris V, Paris, France.
Université Pierre et Marie Curie/Paris VI, Paris, France.
Equipe 11 labellisée Ligue contre le Cancer, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, France.
INSERM, U1138, Paris, France.
Metabolomics and Cell Biology Platforms, Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Villejuif, France.
Karolinska Institute, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Pôle de Biologie, Hopitâl Européen George Pompidou, AP-HP, Paris, France.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.
Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.


Dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines against cancer have been extensively developed over the past two decades. Typically DC-based cancer immunotherapy entails loading patient-derived DCs with an appropriate source of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) and efficient DC stimulation through a so-called "maturation cocktail" (typically a combination of pro-inflammatory cytokines and Toll-like receptor agonists), followed by DC reintroduction into patients. DC vaccines have been documented to (re)activate tumor-specific T cells in both preclinical and clinical settings. There is considerable clinical interest in combining DC-based anticancer vaccines with T cell-targeting immunotherapies. This reflects the established capacity of DC-based vaccines to generate a pool of TAA-specific effector T cells and facilitate their infiltration into the tumor bed. In this Trial Watch, we survey the latest trends in the preclinical and clinical development of DC-based anticancer therapeutics. We also highlight how the emergence of immune checkpoint blockers and adoptive T-cell transfer-based approaches has modified the clinical niche for DC-based vaccines within the wide cancer immunotherapy landscape.


Antigen cross-presentation; DAMPs; TLR signaling; immune-checkpoint blockers; plasmacytoid dendritic cells; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes

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