Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy vol:54 issue:4 pages:372-382
Malignant glioma of the CNS is a tumor with a very bad prognosis. Development of adjuvant immunotherapy is hampered by interindividual and intratumoral antigenic heterogeneity of gliomas. To evaluate feasibility of tumor vaccination with (autologous) tumor cells, we have studied uptake of tumor cell lysates by dendritic cells (DCs), and the T-cell stimulatory capacity of the loaded DCs. DCs are professional antigen-presenting cells, which have already been used as natural adjuvants to initiate immune responses in human cancer. An efficacious uptake of tumor cell proteins, followed by processing and presentation of tumor-associated antigens by the DCs, is indeed one of the prerequisites for a potent and specific stimulation of T lymphocytes. Human monocytes were differentiated in vitro to immature DCs, and these were loaded with FITC-labeled tumor cell proteins. Uptake of the tumor cell proteins and presentation of antigens in the context of both MHC class I and II could be demonstrated using FACS analysis and confocal microscopy. After further maturation, the loaded DCs had the capacity to induce specific T-cell cytotoxic activity against tumor cells. We conclude that DCs loaded with crude tumor lysate are efficacious antigen-presenting cells able to initiate a T-cell response against malignant glioma tumor cells.