Therapeutic dendritic cell vaccination of patients with renal cell carcinoma


OBJECTIVE: Dendritic cell (DC) vaccination against cancer is a new specific immunotherapeutic approach given with either therapeutic or adjuvant intent. We provide a review of DC vaccination as a treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

METHOD: A total of 197 patients with metastatic RCC were treated with DC vaccination in 14 phase I/II clinical trials. Different vaccine preparations, administration routes, and treatment schedules have been tested in these trials. Clinical response and immune response were analysed.

RESULTS: Seventy-three (37%) patients had clinical response with 4 complete responses, 8 partial responses and 61 disease stabilisations, whereas 4 patients had mixed response, but most of these responses have not been transformed into durable clinical effects. Immune responses were observed in a subset of the treated patients but were not always associated with a clinical response. Only mild toxicity was observed in these trials.

CONCLUSION: DC vaccination therapy in patients with metastatic RCC is currently experimental but the results are encouraging with achievement of tumour regression and induction of antigen-specific immune response combined with minimal toxicity in a subset of the treated patients. Future emphasis should be placed on therapy in the adjuvant setting because patients with minimal residual disease are more likely to benefit from the treatment. Combination approaches with DC vaccination and immune-enhancing therapies or antiangiogenic therapy should be further investigated to develop new and more efficient treatment strategies for patients with RCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Antigens, Neoplasm/immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines/administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell/immunology
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells/transplantation
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms/immunology
  • Treatment Outcome


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