Clinical immunotherapy for brain tumors.
As an immunization platform for brain tumors, dendritic cells supply an impressive host of advantages. On the simplest level, they provide the safety and tumor-specificity so wanted by current therapeutic options. Yet, in addition, as the fundamental antigen-presenting cell, they circumvent many of the immunologic challenges that gliomas and the CNS proffer and that other immunotherapeutic modes fail to overcome. Directions to take now include the identification of new tumor-specific and tumor-associated antigens; the determination of the optimal dendritic cell subtype, generation, loading method, maturation state, dose, and route of delivery for immunizations; the further characterization of dendritic cells and their activities; and, potentially, the discovery of ways to pulse dendritic cells efficiently in vivo. Preclinical studies continue to play an important role in refining this form of active immunotherapy.
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