RNA transfected dendritic cells as cancer vaccines.
Immunization with dendritic cells loaded with tumor antigens could represent a powerful method of inducing antitumor immunity. Studies from several laboratories have shown that immunization with dendritic cells pulsed with specific antigens prime cytotoxic T-cells and engender tumor immunity. This review will focus on the use of dendritic cells transfected with RNA as cancer vaccines, with emphasis on the potential advantages of using RNA. The majority of cancer patients who lack an identified tumor antigen and/or cannot provide sufficient tumor tissue for antigen preparation will be excluded from treatment with cancer vaccines based on using either specific tumor antigens or mixtures of tumor-derived antigens in the form of peptides or proteins isolated from tumor cells. Vaccination with the mRNA content of tumor cells would extend the scope of vaccination to this group of patients as well because RNA can be amplified from very few cancer cells.
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