Immunology

Designer DendriticCell Therapy

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Science  09 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5472, pp. 1705-1707
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5472.1705e

Vaccination with dendritic cells (DCs) and genetically modified tumor cells remain important potential avenues in treating cancer. Although both methods may share related mechanisms of action, few data are available that directly compare each approach. Of the many candidate genes under investigation for expression in tumors, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) perhaps offers most promise because of its strong influence on the development and function of DCs.

In an animal-tumor model study, Klein et al. reveal profound differences in the ability of tumor cells and DCs to elicit antitumor immune responses after retroviral gene expression of GM-CSF. There was a significantly increased antitumor effect of DCs coexpressing the tumor antigen and GM-CSF, but similar expression in the tumor cell line had a poor or reduced therapeutic influence on the efficacy of the tumor-cell vaccine. This work builds on that of Timmerman and Levy, who also provide evidence for a beneficial antitumor effect of GM-CSF expression by antigen-pulsed DCs. Both studies reinforce the notion that modification of DCs to express GM-CSF could provide a boost to immunization regimes against tumors.—SJS

J. Exp. Med.191, 1699 (2000); J. Immunol.164, 4797 (2000).

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