PURPOSE: Cancer stem cells (CSC) are the most common causes of lung cancer relapse and mouse resistance to chemotherapy. CD166 was identified as CSC marker for lung cancer. Our study aimed to detect the effect of dendritic cell vaccine loaded with tumor cell lysate (TCL-DCV) on percentage of CD166 CSC in lung of mice exposed to Benzo(a)Pyrene (BP).
METHODS: Female albino mice were divided into 5 groups (22 mice per group): normal control (NC), lung cancer control (LCC) (50 mg/kg BP orally, twice weekly for four weeks), dendritic cell (DC), TCL-DCV and cisplatin. Cisplatin (6 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) was given in two doses (18th and 20th week). 1 × 10 cells of each of DC and TCL-DCV was given subcutaneously as cisplatin. At the end of experiment (22 weeks), lung tissue was used for evaluation of cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (Ctla-4), transforming growth factor-β (Tgf-β), forkhead box protein P3 (Foxp3), programmed death ligand 1 (Pd-l1) and interleukin 12 (Il-12) gene expression using quantitative RT-PCR. The percentage of CD83, CD8 and CD166 cells in lung tissue were measured using flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The results revealed that TCL-DCV reversed the tumorigenic effect of BP in the lung as evidenced by histopathological examination. Compared to cisplatin, dendritic cell vaccination (TCL-DCV) significantly decreased percentage of CD166 CSC. This anticancer stemness effect was attributed to the immune-stimulatory effect as indicated by increased percentage of CD83 and CD8 cells, upregulation of Il-12, and downregulation of Tgf-β, Ctla-4, Pd-l1 and Foxp3 gene expression compared to LCC group.
CONCLUSIONS: TCL-DCV ameliorated cancer stemness through modulating tumor immune archetypes which make it a potent therapeutic alternative to chemotherapy resistant cases.