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Nat Med. 1997 May;3(5):558-61.

Induction of antitumor activity by immunization with fusions of dendritic and carcinoma cells.

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Division of Cancer Pharmacology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells that prime naive cytotoxic T-cells (CTLs). In this study, we have fused DCs with MC38 carcinoma cells. The fusion cells were positive for major histocompatibility (MHC) class I and II, costimulating molecules and intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). The results show that the fusion cells stimulate naive T cells in the primary mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) and induce MC38 tumor-specific CTLs in vivo. Antibody-mediated depletion experiments demonstrate that induction of CD4+ and CD8+ CTLs protects against challenge with tumor cells. We also show that immunization with the fusion cells induces rejection of established metastases. These findings represent the first demonstration that fusions of DCs and tumor cells can be used in the treatment of cancer.

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