Dendritic Cell–Based Immunotherapy: State of the Art and Beyond

The fusion of Dendritic Cells (DCs) with whole tumor cells to generate DC-tumor fusion cells (DC-tumor FCs) is being explored as a promising strategy to treat malignant cancers. As DCs are professional antigen presenting cells (APCs) (also known as accessory cells) and are critical in the induction of antitumor responses, different strategies have been developed to deliver tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), including unidentified molecules, to DCs as cancer vaccines.
DC-tumor fusion can process a broad array of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), and present them through major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II pathways in the context of co-stimulatory signals. This simultaneously activates both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.
Thus, DC-tumor fusion cells are a more effective cancer immunotherapy than single antigen encoding vaccines as it circumvent the daunting task of identifying individual TAAs. To improve the therapeutic efficacy of DC-tumor fusion cell therapy, optimized enhanced immunogenicity of both DCs and whole tumor cells is needed.

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