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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2009, Article ID 657369, 13 pages
Review Article

Cancer Vaccine by Fusions of Dendritic and Cancer Cells

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo 277-8567, Japan
2Institute of Clinical Medicine and Research, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo 277-8567, Japan
3Department of Oncology, Institute of DNA Medicine, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo 277-8567, Japan
4Saitama Cancer Center Research Institute for Clinical Oncology, Saitama 277-8567, Japan
5Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA

Received 17 October 2009; Accepted 9 December 2009

Academic Editor: Mario Clerici

Copyright © 2009 Shigeo Koido et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells and play a central role in the initiation and regulation of primary immune responses. Therefore, their use for the active immunotherapy against cancers has been studied with considerable interest. The fusion of DCs with whole tumor cells represents in many ways an ideal approach to deliver, process, and subsequently present a broad array of tumor-associated antigens, including those yet to be unidentified, in the context of DCs-derived costimulatory molecules. DCs/tumor fusion vaccine stimulates potent antitumor immunity in the animal tumor models. In the human studies, T cells stimulated by DC/tumor fusion cells are effective in lysis of tumor cells that are used as the fusion partner. In the clinical trials, clinical and immunological responses were observed in patients with advanced stage of malignant tumors after being vaccinated with DC/tumor fusion cells, although the antitumor effect is not as vigorous as in the animal tumor models. This review summarizes recent advances in concepts and techniques that are providing new impulses to DCs/tumor fusions-based cancer vaccination.