Immunotherapy with dendritic cells loaded with glioblastoma stem cells: from preclinical to clinical studies

Gaetano Finocchiaro, Serena Pellegatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Different approaches have been explored to raise effective antitumor responses against glioblastoma (GBM), the deadliest of primary brain tumors. In many clinical studies, cancer vaccines have been based on dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with peptides, representing one or more specific tumor antigens or whole lysates as a source of multiple antigens. Randomized clinical trials using DCs are ongoing, and results of efficacy are not yet available. Such strategies are feasible and safe; however, immune-suppressive microenvironment, absence of appropriate specific epitopes to target, and cancer immunoediting can limit their efficacy. The aim of this review is to describe how the definition of novel and more specific targets may increase considerably the possibility of successful DC immunotherapy. By proposing to target glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs), the immune response will be pointed to eradicating factors and pathways highly relevant to GBM biology. Preclinical observations on efficacy, and preliminary results of immunotherapy trials, encourage exploring the clinical efficacy of DC immunotherapy in GBM patients using high-purity, GSC-loaded DC vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Cancer stem-like cells
  • Dendritic cells
  • Glioblastoma
  • Immunotherapy
  • NIBIT 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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