In vitro assessment of dendritic cells pulsed with apoptotic tumor cells as a vaccine for ovarian cancer patients.
Surgery and chemotherapy are standard treatments in ovarian cancer, but patients have a high rate of relapse. Dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines are a new treatment option for elimination of residual tumor disease. We aim to explore the feasibility and immunogenicity of DC vaccines pulsed with autologous irradiated tumor cells from ovarian cancer patients. Monocyte-derived DC were generated and pulsed with autologous tumor-derived bodies, matured and subsequently cocultured with autologous lymphocytes. The ability of DC to activate lymphocytes was evaluated by proliferation and IFN-gamma ELISPOT. Induction of tumor cell apoptosis was optimal at 24 h, and DC pulsing optimal at 4 h. Maturation of DC and proliferation of lymphocytes were achieved in 75% of patients tested. Lymphocyte IFN-gamma production increased in response to tumor antigen-pulsed DC. We show the feasibility of preparing individual DC-based vaccines in ovarian cancer patients and the potential for induction of lymphocyte responses.