Dendritic cell therapy in cancer treatment; the state-of-the-art

Life Sci. 2020 Aug 1;254:117580. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117580. Epub 2020 Mar 20.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered as professional antigen presenting cells (APCs), containing a variety of subsets, that can be resident in organs or migrating among the lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs. In a normal steady condition, DCs concomitantly process and present antigens on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II. However, they are further activated after exposing to antigens. Recently, several approaches have been exerted to improve antigen presentation potency, to elicit powerful immune responses against tumor cells. In DC-based cancer immunotherapy, DC is obtained from patient and modulated ex vivo in order to entice the immune system toward tumor elimination. Several approaches have been on the evaluation for long-term anti-tumor immune responses by DCs. On the other side, combination of DC vaccines with other cancer therapies, like chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies could confer efficient cancer therapeutics. In this review article, we first go through the immunobiology of DC, and development of DC vaccines. Then, we concentrate on the DC immunotherapy by highlighting combinational approaches to enhance the efficacy of cancer treatment strategies.

Keywords: Antigen presenting cells; Cancer immunotherapy; Chemotherapy; Dendritic cells; Immune system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic