Dendritic cell immunotherapy induces anti-tumor effect in a transgenic mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

PMID: 31815046
Journal: American journal of cancer research (volume: 9, issue: 11, Am J Cancer Res 2019;9(11):2456-2468)
Published: 2019-11-01

Yang J, Hu S, Shangguan J, Eresen A, Li Y, Pan L, Ma Q, Velichko Y, Wang J, Hu C, Yaghmai V, Zhang Z


The promise of dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy has been established by two decades of translational research. However, long-term benefits of DC vaccination are reported in only scattered patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Here we optimize DC vaccination and evaluate its safety and antitumor efficacy in the genetically engineered PDAC model ( (KPC mice)). KPC transgenic mice and orthotopic models using KPC cell lines were treated with DC vaccine via an intraperitoneal route. Tumor growth and microenvironment were dynamically monitored by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Histological analysis and flow cytometry were used to evaluate tumor-directed T cell immunity of these mice. DC vaccine via intraperitoneal injection suppressed tumor progression (P = 0.030) and significantly prolonged survival time (P = 0.028) in KPC mice. Vaccinated KPC mice displayed an increased antitumor T cell response indicated by a higher IFN-γ production (P = 0.016) and tumor-specific cytotoxicity (P = 0.027). Particularly, the mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of KPC tumor calculated from diffusion weighted MRI (DW-MRI) were significantly higher in DC vaccine group than that in control group (P < 0.001). More interestingly, we observed that ADC positively correlated with fibrosis in KPC tumor (R = 0.463, P = 0.015). Our study demonstrated that the immunization with our improved DC vaccine can elicit a strong tumor-specific immune response and tumor suppression in PDAC.