Immunotherapy with dendritic cells for cancer

Alberto Ballestrero, Davide Boy, Eva Moran, Gabriella Cirmena, Peter Brossart, Alessio Nencioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells with a key role in both immunity induction and tolerance maintenance. Dendritic cells are highly specialized in antigen capture, processing and presentation, and express co-stimulation signals which activate T lymphocytes and NK cells. Dendritic cells generated in culture and loaded with an antigen efficiently induce antigen-specific immunity after injection. More recently, methods have been developed that target antigens to dendritic cells in vivo, bypassing the need for ex vivo cell manipulations. Numerous ongoing studies aim to evaluate the effectiveness of dendritic cell vaccines in preventing tumor relapses and extending patients' survival. Further implementation of this form of immunotherapy is expected following the identification of the mechanisms controlling dendritic cell immunogenicity, and from a better understanding of the cell dynamics whereby immune responses are orchestrated. Here, we discuss these new insights together with an overview of the dendritic cell-based clinical studies carried out to date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2008


  • Cytokines
  • Dendritic cells
  • Immunotherapy
  • Tolerance
  • Toll-like receptors
  • Tumor antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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