The natural killer cell response and tumor debulking are associated with prolonged survival in recurrent glioblastoma patients receiving dendritic cells loaded with autologous tumor lysates

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Abstract

Recurrent glioblastomas (GBs) are highly aggressive tumors associated with a 6-8 mo survival rate. In this study, we evaluated the possible benefits of an immunotherapeutic strategy based on mature dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with autologous tumor-cell lysates in 15 patients affected by recurrent GB. The median progression-free survival (PFS) of this patient cohort was 4.4 mo, and the median overall survival (OS) was 8.0 mo. Patients with small tumors at the time of the first vaccination (<20 cm3; n = 8) had significantly longer PFS and OS than the other patients (6.0 vs. 3.0 mo, p = 0.01; and 16.5 vs. 7.0 mo, p = 0.003, respectively). CD8+ T cells, CD56+ natural killer (NK) cells and other immune parameters, such as the levels of transforming growth factor β, vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-12 and interferon γ (IFNγ), were measured in the peripheral blood and serum of patients before and after immunization, which enabled us to obtain a vaccination/baseline ratio (V/B ratio). An increased V/B ratio for NK cells, but not CD8+ T cells, was significantly associated with prolonged PFS and OS. Patients exhibiting NK-cell responses were characterized by high levels of circulating IFNγ and E4BP4, an NK-cell transcription factor. Furthermore, the NK cell V/B ratio was inversely correlated with the TGFβ2 and VEGF V/B ratios. These results suggest that tumor-loaded DCs may increase the survival rate of patients with recurrent GB after effective tumor debulking, and emphasize the role of the NK-cell response in this therapeutic setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23401
JournalOncoImmunology
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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Keywords

  • Dendritic cells
  • Glioblastoma
  • IFN
  • immunotherapy
  • NK cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Oncology
  • Immunology

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