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J Exp Med. 2002 May 20;195(10):1279-88.

Rapid induction of tumor-specific type 1 T helper cells in metastatic melanoma patients by vaccination with mature, cryopreserved, peptide-loaded monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Erlangen, D-91052 Erlangen, Germany.

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  • J Exp Med. 2003 Feb 3;197(3):395..


There is consensus that an optimized cancer vaccine will have to induce not only CD8+ cytotoxic but also CD4+ T helper (Th) cells, particularly interferon (IFN)-gamma-producing, type 1 Th cells. The induction of strong, ex vivo detectable type 1 Th cell responses has not been reported to date. We demonstrate now that the subcutaneous injection of cryopreserved, mature, antigen-loaded, monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) rapidly induces unequivocal Th1 responses (ex vivo detectable IFN-gamma-producing effectors as well as proliferating precursors) both to the control antigen KLH and to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-restricted tumor peptides (melanoma-antigen [Mage]-3.DP4 and Mage-3.DR13) in the majority of 16 evaluable patients with metastatic melanoma. These Th1 cells recognized not only peptides, but also DCs loaded with Mage-3 protein, and in case of Mage-3DP4-specific Th1 cells IFN-gamma was released even after direct recognition of viable, Mage-3-expressing HLA-DP4+ melanoma cells. The capacity of DCs to rapidly induce Th1 cells should be valuable to evaluate whether Th1 cells are instrumental in targeting human cancer and chronic infections.

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