The dendritic cell system and anti-tumour immunity

In Vivo. May-Jun 1993;7(3):193-201.


Dendritic cells (DC) are essential for the initiation of T- and T-dependent immune responses by virtue of their capacities to acquire, process and present antigens and to deliver activation signals to mature resting T cells. In contrast, antigen presentation by other types of antigen-presenting cells (APC) may lead to peripheral T cell tolerance. This paper reviews the immunobiology of DC, and considers the possibility that immune unresponsiveness of tumour-bearing hosts may be due to clonal anergy of T cells. An important issue is whether it is possible to use DC to vaccinate tumour-free individuals, to overcome the immunological unresponsiveness of tumour-bearing hosts, and ultimately to cause rejection of primary and metastatic cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology*