Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that can be used for vaccination purposes, to induce a specific T-cell response in vivo against melanoma-associated antigens. We have shown that the sequential use of early-acting hematopoietic growth factors, stem cell factor, IL-3 and IL-6, followed by differentiation with IL-4 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor allows the in vitro generation of large numbers of immature DCs from CD34(+) peripheral blood progenitor cells. Maturation to interdigitating DCs could specifically be induced within 24 hr by addition of TNF-alpha. Here, we report on a phase I clinical vaccination trial in melanoma patients using peptide-pulsed DCs. Fourteen HLA-A1(+) or HLA-A2(+) patients received at least 4 i.v. infusions of 5 x 10(6) to 5 x 10(7) DCs pulsed with a pool of peptides including either MAGE-1, MAGE-3 (HLA-A1) or Melan-A, gp100, tyrosinase (HLA-A2), depending on the HLA haplotype. A total of 83 vaccinations were performed. Clinical side effects were mild and consisted of low-grade fever (WHO grade I-II). Clinical and immunological responses consisted of anti-tumor responses in 2 patients, increased melanoma peptide-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions in 4 patients, significant expansion of Melan-A- and gp100-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of 1 patient after vaccination and development of vitiligo in another HLA-A2(+) patient. Our data indicate that the vaccination of peptide-pulsed DCs is capable of inducing clinical and systemic tumor-specific immune responses without provoking major side effects.


Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date





385 - 392


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, CD34, Antigens, Neoplasm, Cancer Vaccines, Cell Differentiation, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Dendritic Cells, Female, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Humans, Immunotherapy, Adoptive, Male, Melanoma, Middle Aged, Peptides, Pilot Projects