Dendritic cell biology and cancer therapy

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2004 Mar;53(3):240-8. doi: 10.1007/s00262-003-0468-6. Epub 2003 Dec 18.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are nature's best antigen-presenting cells. They possess attributes that allow them to effectively fulfill the requirements for priming/activating T cells and mediating tumor-specific immune responses. In this review, emphasis is placed on those aspects of DC biology that best illustrate their usefulness in immunotherapy of cancer. Culture, maturation, and polarization conditions for human DC are discussed, as are strategies for antigen-loading of DCs and for their delivery to patients with cancer. A concise recommendation for monitoring of DC-based vaccination trails is provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm