Synthetic CD4+ T cell-targeted antigen-presenting cells elicit protective antitumor responses

Stefano Caserta, Patrizia Alessi, Jlenia Guarnerio, Veronica Basso, Anna Mondino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CD4+ helper T cells are critical for protective immune responses and yet suboptimally primed in response to tumors. Cell-based vaccination strategies are under evaluation in clinical trials but limited by the need to derive antigenpresenting cells (APC) from patients or compatible healthy donors. To overcome these limitations, we developed CD4+ T cell-targeted synthetic microbead-based artificial APC (aAPC) and used them to activate CD4+ T lymphocytes specific for a tumor-associated model antigen (Ag) directly from the naive repertoire. In vitro, aAPC specifically primed Ag-specific CD4+ T cells that were activated to express high levels of CD44, produced mainly interleukin 2, and could differentiate into Th1-ike or Th2-like cells in combination with polarizing cytokines. I.v. administration of aAPC led to Ag-specific CD4+ T-cell activation and proliferation in secondary lymphoid organs, conferred partial protection against subcutaneous tumors, and prevented the establishment of lung metastasis. Taken together, our data support the use of cell-free, synthetic aAPC as a specific and versatile alternative to expand peptide-specific CD4+ T cells in adoptive and active immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3010-3018
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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