Patient-derived renal cell carcinoma cells fused with allogeneic dendritic cells elicit anti-tumor activity: in vitro results and clinical responses

PMID: 19221746
Journal: Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII (volume: 58, issue: 10, Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 2009 Oct;58(10):1587-97)
Published: 2009-02-17

Zhou J, Weng D, Zhou F, Pan K, Song H, Wang Q, Wang H, Wang H, Li Y, Huang L, Zhang H, Huang W, Xia J


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has been shown to be susceptible to immunotherapeutic treatment strategies. In the present study, patient-derived tumor cells were fused with allogeneic dendritic cells (DC) to elicit anti-tumor activity against RCC. DC from HLA-A2+ healthy donors were fused with primary RCC cells from ten patients. Phenotype of fusion cells were characterized by flow cytometer and confocal microscopy. In vitro, T cell proliferation, IFN-gamma secretion and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) activity elicited by allogeneic DC/RCC fusion cells were assessed. Clinically, ten patients were vaccinated with allogeneic DC/RCC fusion vaccine. The adverse effects and toxicity were observed. The clinical response was evaluated by CT scans. After fusion, the created hybrids expressed both tumor associated antigen and DC-derived molecules and could stimulate the proliferation and IFN-gamma secretion of T cells as well as elicit strong CTL activity against RCC cells in vitro. In vivo, no serious adverse effects, toxicity, or signs of autoimmune disease were observed after vaccination therapy. Percentage of T lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood of patients was increased significantly. One of ten patients exhibited a partial response with regression of lung metastases. Six patients showed stable disease with stabilization of previously progressive disease (follow up 1.5 years). The PR and SD responses, exhibited by 7/10 patients who received the allogeneic DC/RCC fusion vaccine treatment, suggest that this approach is safe and can elicit immunological responses in a significant portion of patients with RCC.