Vaccination with dendritic cell/tumor fusion cells results in cellular and humoral antitumor immune responses in patients with multiple myeloma

Blood. 2011 Jan 13;117(2):393-402. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-04-277137. Epub 2010 Oct 28.


We have developed a tumor vaccine in which patient-derived myeloma cells are chemically fused with autologous dendritic cells (DCs) such that a broad spectrum of myeloma-associated antigens are presented in the context of DC-mediated costimulation. We have completed a phase 1 study in which patients with multiple myeloma underwent serial vaccination with the DC/multiple myeloma fusions in conjunction with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. DCs were generated from adherent mononuclear cells cultured with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-4, and tumor necrosis factor-α and fused with myeloma cells obtained from marrow aspirates. Vaccine generation was successful in 17 of 18 patients. Successive cohorts were treated with 1 × 10(6), 2 × 10(6), and 4 × 10(6) fusion cells, respectively, with 10 patients treated at the highest dose level. Vaccination was well tolerated, without evidence of dose-limiting toxicity. Vaccination resulted in the expansion of circulating CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes reactive with autologous myeloma cells in 11 of 15 evaluable patients. Humoral responses were documented by SEREX (Serologic Analysis of Recombinant cDNA Expression Libraries) analysis. A majority of patients with advanced disease demonstrated disease stabilization, with 3 patients showing ongoing stable disease at 12, 25, and 41 months, respectively. Vaccination with DC/multiple myeloma fusions was feasible and well tolerated and resulted in antitumor immune responses and disease stabilization in a majority of patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / immunology
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Fusion
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / immunology
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy*


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Cancer Vaccines