Dendritic cell vaccination
For each patient a tailor made DC vaccine is made. After cytapheresis monocytes, DC precursors or natural DC from the blood are grown in specialized GMP cleanrooms. DC vaccines are prepared by activating and maturing DC and by loading them with tumor antigens. These tumor antigens can be tumor lysates, apoptotic or necrotic cells, or well defined tumor antigens in the form of proteins, peptides, or even mRNA encoding for tumor antigens that is used to express the proteins after electroporation into DCs. Subsequently, DC vaccines are administered. For more details on the DC vaccination procedure see this movie. So far, we have mainly focused on melanoma, a cancer of the pigmented cells of the skin. We have treated more than 350 patients until now and observed that DC vaccination is well tolerated with minimal side effects. In some patients we have seen remarkable and long lasting remissions. We constantly improve our DC vaccination procedures to reach even better clinical results.
For further reading:
Aarntzen EH, De Vries IJ, Lesterhuis WJ, Schuurhuis D, Jacobs JF, Bol K, Schreibelt G, Mus R, De Wilt JH, Haanen JB, Schadendorf D, Croockewit A, Blokx WA, Van Rossum MM, Kwok WW, Adema GJ, Punt CJ, Figdor CG. Targeting CD4+ T-Helper Cells Improves the Induction of Antitumor Responses in Dendritic Cell-Based Vaccination. Cancer Res, 2013. 73(1): 19-29.