Immunotherapy with fusion of dendritic cells (DCs) and tumour cells potentially confers the advantages of DC antigen-presenting functionality and a continuous source of unaltered tumour antigens. However, fusion using chemical or viral fusogens has been inefficient. We have recently developed a high throughput electrofusion technique with which very efficient fusion rates (15-54%) were observed in over 300 experiments, using a variety of murine and human tumour cell lines. The fused cells display a mature DC phenotype and express tumour-associated antigens. In two pre-clinical animal models (B16 melanoma transduced with the LacZ gene and the MCA 205 fibrosarcoma), a single vaccination of mice bearing tumours established in the lung, brain and skin resulted in tumour regression and prolongation of life. However, therapeutic efficacy required the administration of adjuvants such as IL-12 and OX-40R mAbs. Effective immunotherapy also required the delivery of fusion cells directly into lymphoid organs (spleen or lymph nodes). Using five defined human T cell lines derived from melanoma patients, allogeneic DCs of HLA-A2, HLA-DR4 and HLA-DR7 haplotypes fused with MART-1, gp100, tyrosinase and TRP-2 expressing 888 mel melanoma cells were analysed for their ability to stimulate specific cytokine (IFN-gamma and GM-CSF) secretion. DC-888 mel hybrids presented all tumour-associated epitopes to both CD4 and CD8 T cell lines in the context of MHC class II and I molecules, respectively. The therapeutic efficacy of a DC-tumour fusion vaccine is now being evaluated for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Pages (from-to)||169-178; discussion 179-186|
|Journal||Developments in biologicals|
|State||Published - 2004|
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