Dendritic cells are essential for priming but inefficient for boosting antitumour immune response in an orthotopic murine glioma model

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2006 Mar;55(3):254-67. doi: 10.1007/s00262-005-0040-7. Epub 2005 Aug 27.


The prognosis of malignant gliomas remains dismal and alternative therapeutic strategies are required. Immunotherapy with dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with tumour antigens emerges as a promising approach. Many parameters influence the efficacy of DC-based vaccines and need to be optimised in preclinical models. The present study compares different vaccine schedules using DCs loaded with tumour cell lysate (DC-Lysate) for increasing long-term survival in the GL26 orthotopic murine glioma model, focusing on the number of injections and an optimal way to recall antitumour immune response. Double vaccination with DC-Lysate strongly prolonged median survival compared to unvaccinated animals (mean survival 87.5 days vs. 25 days; p < 0.0001). In vitro data showed specific cytotoxic activity against GL26. However, late tumour relapses frequently occurred after 3 months and only 20% of mice were finally cured at 7 months. While one, two or three DC injections gave identical survival, a boost using only tumour lysate after initial DC-Lysate priming dramatically improved long-term survival in vaccinated mice, compared to the double DC-Lysate group, with 67.5% of animals cured at 7 months (p < 0.0001). In vitro data showed better specific CTL response and also the induction of specific anti-GL26 antibodies in the DC-Lysate/Lysate group, which mediated Complement Dependent Cytotoxicity. These experimental data may be of importance for the design of clinical trials that currently use multiple DC injections.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / administration & dosage*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Brain Neoplasms / immunology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cancer Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Glioma / immunology
  • Glioma / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines