Dendritic Cells Loaded with Heat Shock-Conditioned Ovarian Epithelial Carcinoma Cell Lysates Elicit T Cell-Dependent Antitumor Immune Responses
Ovarian epithelial carcinoma (OEC) is the most frequent ovarian tumor, characterized by a high mortality in advanced stages where conventional therapies are not effective. Based on the role of the immune system in the progression of this disease, immunotherapy using checkpoint blockade has been considered as a therapeutic alternative. Nevertheless, its results do not match up to the positive results in entities like melanoma and other malignancies, suggesting the need to find other therapies to be used alone or in combination. Dendritic cell- (DC-) based vaccines have shown promising results in several types of cancer, such as melanoma, prostate, and lung cancers, due to the essential role played by DCs in the activation of specific T cells, thus using other ways of activating the immune response than immune checkpoint blockade. During the last decade, we have used DC-based vaccines loaded with an allogeneic heat shock-conditioned melanoma cell lysate in the treatment of advanced stage patients in a series of clinical trials. In these studies, 60% of treated patients showed immunological responses which correlated positively with improved survival. Considering the relevance of ovarian cancer and the promising results of our DC-based vaccine, we show here that heat shock-conditioned cell lysates derived from ovarian epithelial carcinoma cell lines have the potential to induce the phenotypic and functional maturation of human DC, which in turn, is able to induce an efficient CD4 and CD8 T cell-mediated immune responses against ovarian cancer cell lines . In summary, OEC heat shock-conditioned cell lysate-loaded DCs may be considered for future combined immunotherapy approaches against ovarian tumors.