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home > pmps > spring 2004 > novel approaches towards cancer therapy: modified concept for autologous tumour cell vaccination and capsoid-based delivery of tumour antigens
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Novel Approaches Towards Cancer Therapy: Modified Concept for Autologous Tumour Cell Vaccination and Capsoid-Based Delivery of Tumour Antigens

Dendritic cells (DC) are regarded as the most potent antigen-presenting cells (APC) (1,2). They have the unique ability to generate immune responses to antigens and have a key function in regulating an immune response and maintaining immunological memory. These features make DC a very attractive tool for immunotherapeutic interventions in malignant diseases. In general, therapeutic vaccines against cancer should evoke comprehensive pro-inflammatory immune responses as well as helper CD4 T and cytotoxic CD8 T cell responses. Due to their unique T cell stimulatory potential, DC have emerged as the most potent antigen presenting cell population, which is able to induce tumour-specific cell-mediated immunity (CMI).

Therefore, novel vaccination concepts in tumour therapy are aimed at the acquisition and display of tumour antigens by autologous DC. Those treatment concepts are primarily based on the isolation, enrichment and maturation of autologous DC precursors from patients. Along the vaccine production process, DC were cryo-conserved after in vitro incubation with tumour cell lysates or tumour antigen-specific peptides recognised by human leukocyte antigen-matched CD4 or CD8 T cells.

For therapeutic use, DC were usually administered to the respective patient via the subcutaneous route in weekly intervals. In total, five to 10 DC doses were normally used during these vaccination cycles. A variety of murine and human studies clearly showed the potential of DC for future therapeutic use. However, extensive research is still needed to add to the understanding of the functions of this unique cell population to improve therapeutic efficacy.

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By Dr Jürgen Hess, Head of Scientific Affairs, and Dr Christian Reiser, Managing Director at responsif GmbH Germany
Dr Jürgen Hess is Head of Scientific Affairs at responsif GmbH. He studied Biology in Wмrzburg, Germany and completed his PhD thesis in Microbiology. Following this he moved to the Sandoz Research Institute in Vienna, Austria, working on the functions of HIV-Nef. Dr Hess continued his research career at the Department of Immunology at Ulm, Germany and at the Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany, where his work was focused on vaccination approaches leading to cell-mediated immunity against bacterial infections. He previously held a position as Chief Scientific Officer at november AG working on R&D projects in the field of immunotherapeutics.

Dr Christian Reiser is the Managing Director and one of the founders of responsif GmbH. He studied Chemistry at the University of Bayreuth in Germany and obtained his PhD in Biochemistry. During his scientific career he has specialised in protein chemistry and structural biology. Dr Reiser spent several years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Medicine IV at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg where he worked on signalling pathways relating to renal pathology. In 1998, he joined november AG as a Project Manager, building up the molecular therapy department of november AG. Since 2002, he has been Vice President Operations and QA/QC of november AG.
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Dr Jürgen Hess
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Dr Christian Reiser
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