Dendritic cells based immunotherapy

Na Shang, Matteo Figini, Junjie Shangguan, Bin Wang, Chong Sun, Liang Pan, Quanhong Ma, Zhuoli Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells, and tumor antigen-loaded DCs (DCvaccines) can activate tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in lymphatic tissues. DC vaccination is a newly emerging and potent form of cancer immunotherapy and has clinically relevant mechanisms of action with great potential for the systemic treatment of cancers. However, clinical trials have demonstrated relatively poor therapeutic efficacy. The efficacy of DC-vaccines is strongly influenced by various techniques for the priming antigen loading onto DCs and their ability to migrate to the draining lymph nodes (LNs). Therefore, it is critical to improve DC-vaccines homing to draining LNs after administration in order to optimize DC-based therapy for individual patients. This review underlines 1) appropriate strategy to load tumor antigens onto DCs and 2) to optimize vaccine administration methods to ensure loaded DCs can migrate to LNs, in particular, Intraperitoneal (IP) injection. IP injection of DC-based vaccine may be a potential regimen for gastrointestinal tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) since huge populations of LNs are present throughout the gastrointestinal track. Which might improve the subsequent migration to LNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2091-2102
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cancer vaccine
  • Dendritic cells
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunotherapy
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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