Dendritic cells for active immunotherapy: optimizing design and manufacture in order to develop commercially and clinically viable products

Vaccine. 2007 Sep 27;25 Suppl 2:B47-60. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.06.006. Epub 2007 Jun 21.


Dendritic cell (DC) active immunotherapy is potentially efficacious in a broad array of malignant disease settings. However, challenges remain in optimizing DC-based therapy for maximum clinical efficacy within manufacturing processes that permit quality control and scale-up of consistent products. In this review we discuss the critical issues that must be addressed in order to optimize DC-based product design and manufacture, and highlight the DC based platforms currently addressing these issues. Variables in DC-based product design include the type of antigenic payload used, DC maturation steps and activation processes, and functional assays. Issues to consider in development include: (a) minimizing the invasiveness of patient biological material collection; (b) minimizing handling and manipulations of tissue at the clinical site; (c) centralized product manufacturing and standardized processing and capacity for commercial-scale production; (d) rapid product release turnaround time; (e) the ability to manufacture sufficient product from limited starting material; and (f) standardized release criteria for DC phenotype and function. Improvements in the design and manufacture of DC products have resulted in a handful of promising leads currently in clinical development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / genetics
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Vaccination / methods*


  • Cancer Vaccines