University of Limerick
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Unlocking dendritic cell-based vaccine efficacy through genetic modulation—how soon is now?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-30, 14:45 authored by Ahmed Elwakeel, Hannah E. Bridgewater, Jason BennettJason Bennett

The dendritic cell (DC) vaccine anti-cancer strategy involves tumour-associated antigen loading and maturation of autologous ex vivo cultured DCs, followed by infusion into the cancer patient. This strategy stemmed from the idea that to induce a robust anti-tumour immune response, it was necessary to bypass the fundamental immunosuppressive mechanisms of the tumour microenvironment that dampen down endogenous innate immune cell activation and enable tumours to evade immune attack. Even though the feasibility and safety of DC vaccines have long been confirmed, clinical response rates remain disappointing. Hence, the full potential of DC vaccines has yet to be reached. Whether this cellular-based vaccination approach will fully realise its position in the immunotherapy arsenal is yet to be determined. Attempts to increase DC vaccine immunogenicity will depend on increasing our understanding of DC biology and the signalling pathways involved in antigen uptake, maturation, migration, and T lymphocyte priming to identify amenable molecular targets to improve DC vaccine performance. This review evaluates various genetic engineering strategies that have been employed to optimise and boost the efficacy of DC vaccines.



Genes 2023, 14 (12)



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