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J Immunol. 1998 Nov 15;161(10):5516-24.

Eliciting T cell immunity against poorly immunogenic tumors by immunization with dendritic cell-tumor fusion vaccines.

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Center for Surgery Research, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most effective APCs and are being studied as natural adjuvants or Ag delivery vehicles to elicit T cell-mediated antitumor immunity. This study examined whether inoculation of DCs fused with poorly immunogenic tumor cells elicited tumor-reactive T cells for adoptive immunotherapy. DCs derived from bone marrow of C57BL/6 (B6) mice were fused with syngeneic B16 melanoma or RMA-S lymphoma cells by polyethylene glycol. The B16/DC and RMA-S/DC fusion hybrids expressed MHC class I, class II Ags, costimulatory molecules, as well as DC-specific and tumor-derived surface markers. The tumor/DC hybrids were capable of processing and presenting tumor-derived Ags, and immunization of B6 mice with irradiated B16/DC or RMA-S/DC vaccine elicited tumor-specific CTL activities. Vaccination of B6 mice with irradiated B16/DC fusion preparations induced partial host protective immunity against B16 tumor challenge. Reduced tumor incidence and prolonged survival time were observed. Adoptive transfer of T cells derived from B16/DC vaccine-primed lymph nodes into B16 tumor-bearing mice greatly reduced the number of established pulmonary metastases with or without in vivo administration of IL-2. Moreover, adoptive transfer of RMA-S/DC vaccine-primed, cultured lymph node T cells eradicated disseminated FBL-3 tumor. The results demonstrate that tumor/DC fusion products are effective cellular vaccines for eliciting T cell-mediated antitumor immunity.

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