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      Dendritic cell-tumor cell hybrids enhance the induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes against murine colon cancer: a comparative analysis of antigen loading methods for the vaccination of immunotherapeutic dendritic cells.

      Oncology Reports

      immunology, Antigens, Neoplasm, Apoptosis, physiology, Cancer Vaccines, Cell Extracts, Cell Fusion, Colonic Neoplasms, therapy, Animals, Dendritic Cells, Female, Flow Cytometry, Hybrid Cells, Immunotherapy, methods, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Necrosis, physiopathology, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic

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          Dendritic cells (DCs) have been used successfully for inducing effective anti-tumor immune responses in advanced cancer patients undergoing tumor-specific immunotherapy. Appropriate antigen pulsing is a crucial parameter for optimizing the efficacy of immunotherapy as well as anti-tumor protection therapy. Using a murine colon cancer model, we evaluated the anti-tumor efficacy of four different preparations of DC vaccines that contained either a whole tumor or its derivatives, including i) DCs pulsed with tumor lysate, ii) DCs pulsed with necrotic tumor cells, iii) DCs pulsed with apoptotic tumor cells, and iv) DC-tumor cell fusion hybrids. Our data show that DC-tumor cell fusion hybrids and DCs pulsed with irradiated apoptotic tumor cells were more potent than DCs with freeze-thawed necrotic tumor cells for the induction of protective anti-tumor responses. The vaccination of DCs pulsed with tumor lysate failed to elicit any anti-tumor effect. In animals administered with higher doses of a tumor-cell challenge, DC-tumor cell fusion hybrids elicited the most effective anti-tumor response. Among the preparations tested, mice immunized with DC-tumor cell fusion hybrids resulted in the greatest induction of cytotoxicity as measured by the cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity of both the splenocytes and the Thy1.2-positive T lymphocytes. Furthermore, the in vitro production of IFN-gamma polarized to the Th1 cytokine responses was highest in the splenocytes derived from mice vaccinated with DC-tumor cell fusion hybrids. Our results suggest that DC-tumor cell fusion hybrids are more potent inducers of protection against solid tumors, such as colon cancer, than other antigen-loading strategies using whole tumor cell materials.

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