Presentation of tumor antigens. The role of dendritic cells

Paola Paglia, Mario P. Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human tumors express a number of protein antigens that can be recognized by T cells, thus providing potential targets for cancer immunotherapy. Dendritic cells are rare leukocytes that are uniquely potent in their ability to present antigens to T cells, and this property has prompted their recent application to therapeutic cancer vaccines. Isolated dendritic cells loaded with tumor antigen ex vivo and administered as a cellular vaccine have been found to induce protective and therapeutic antitumor immunity in experimental animals. In pilot clinical trials of dendritic cells vaccination for patients with non-Hodgkints lymphoma and melanoma, induction of anti-tumor immune responses and tumor regressions have been observed. Additional trials of dendritic cells vaccination for a variety of human cancers are underway, and methods for targeting tumor antigens to dendritic cells in vivo are also being explored. Exploitation of the antigen-presenting properties of dendritic cells thus offers promise for the development of effective cancer immunotherapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalMinerva Biotecnologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • Dendritic cells
  • Tumor associated antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Presentation of tumor antigens. The role of dendritic cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this