Immunological Strategies to Fight Skin Cancer

B. Berman, MD, PhD; O. A. Perez, MD; D. Zell, MD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2006;11(5):1-7. 

In This Article

Dendritic Cell-based Therapy

The use of autologous dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with tumor-associated antigens as a natural adjuvant to actively prime an effective immune response against tumor cells is also being investigated.[29–35] A Phase I clinical trial by Escobar, et al. designed to address the safety and efficacy of immunizations with tumor lysate-loaded DCs in Stage III–IV metastatic melanoma patients found a significantly longer post-vaccination survival in patients with a delayed type IV hypersensitivity reaction against the melanoma cell lysate (17.25 months) than in nonresponders (8.625 months), (p = 0.0261).[36] This study demonstrated that the vaccination procedure used was safe and could induce a clinical and immunologic response in patients with advanced melanoma, like other studies with comparable protocols.[35,37] However, a recent randomized Phase III clinical trial studying the effect of dacarbazine monochemotherapy vs. vaccination with autologous peptide-pulsed DCs in patients with metastatic melanoma found Grade 3/4 toxicities in seven patients in each treatment arm, and a total of 75 deaths at median follow up of 22.2 months. No significant differences were found in overall or progression-free survival between the two treatment arms.[29]


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