Dendritic cell-based treatment of cancer: closing in on a cellular therapy.

F. H. Valone, E. Small, M. MacKenzie, P. Burch, M. Lacy, M. V. Peshwa, R. Laus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Dendritic cells are the most potent antigen-presenting cells and are critical to initiation of immune responses. Dendritic cells loaded ex vivo with tumor-associated antigen are being administered to cancer patients in an effort to jump-start a potent, cell-mediated anticancer immune response resulting in tumor shrinkage and clinical benefit. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Dendreon Corporation has designed three therapeutic vaccines using blood-derived dendritic cells loaded ex vivo with antigen: Provenge for prostate cancer; Mylovenge for multiple myeloma and other B-cell malignancies; and APC8024 for cancers expressing the HER-2/neu proto-oncogene. RESULTS: Preclinical studies demonstrated that blood dendritic cells matured spontaneously in short-term culture without growth factors, and that fusion of antigens with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor enhances antigen uptake and presentation by blood dendritic cells. Phase I/II trials suggest that these dendritic cell-based vaccines are safe and well tolerated. Provenge has demonstrated antitumor activity in hormone-refractory prostate cancer; approximately 20% of patients experienced decreased prostate-specific antigen (i.e., PSA) levels and a similar percentage experienced disease stabilization. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trials in metastatic, asymptomatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer have been initiated. Phase II data on Mylovenge are similarly encouraging, and expanded phase II testing is ongoing in anticipation of opening phase III trials in 2002. APC8024 is in early clinical development and has shown significant capacity to elicit antigen-specific immune responses. CONCLUSION: Antigen delivery by ex vivo antigen-loaded dendritic cells may be an effective approach to cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S53-61
JournalCancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.)
Volume7 Suppl 2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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